Echo Company – 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

Nez Perce Warrior’s Reflection

They said I would be changed in my body.
I would move through the physical world in a different manner.
I would hold myself in a different posture.
I would have pain where there was no blood.
I would react to sights, sounds, movement and touch in a crazy way, as though I were back in war.

They said I would be wounded in my thoughts.
I would forger how to trust, and I would think that others were trying to hurt me.  I would see dangers in the kindness and concern of my relatives and others.

Most of all, I would not be able to think in a reasonable manner, and it would seem that everyone else was crazy.

They told me that it would appear to me that I was alone even in the midst of the people, and that there was no one else like me.

They warned me that it would be as though my emotions were locked up, and I would be cold in my heart and not remember the ways of caring for others.

While I might give meat and blankets to the elders, or food to the children, I would not be able to feel the goodness of these actions and that I would do these things out of habit and not from caring.  They predicted that I might do harm to others without plan or intention.

They knew that my spirit would be wounded.

They said I would be lonely and that I would find no comfort in family, friends, elders or spirits.  I would be cut off from both beauty and pain. My dreams would be dark and frightening. My days would be filled with searching and not finding. I would not be able to find a connection between myself and the rest of creation.  I would look forward to an early death.

And, I would need cleansing in all these things.

Contributed by Tom Duthie – April, 2003