Attorney Rees Lloyd
December 4, 2012
Friday, Pearl Harbor Day 2012, will mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese Empire air attack on U.S. naval and air installations at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, without a declaration of war, leading President Franklin D. Roosevelt to famously brand it “a day that will live in infamy.”
Pearl Harbor was then the worst attack on American soil in history: Some 2,403 American military were killed; 2008 of them Navy personnel. Another 1,178 were wounded. Eighteen Navy ships, including the USS Arizona, were sunk or badly damaged. Almost all the planes at the island bases were destroyed or damaged while still on the ground.
Though most politically-correct contemporary government schools will teach little or nothing about Pearl Harbor Day, and the veterans who died or were wounded there, it will be observed in various ways throughout the country by veterans and other patriots.
Harbor Day 2012 will be marked in a unique and poignant way by veterans
and patriots who will gather together at the “Flags Up”
ranch of the world famous “Horse Whisperer,” Monty Roberts,
in Solvang, California.
There, Monty Roberts, and his “Join-Up” organization, in conjunction with the Patriot Outreach Program and The American Legion Department of California Patriot Outreach Pilot project, will remember the sacrifices of the veterans of the WWII generation at Pearl Harbor, by helping veterans of this era to heal from the wounds of war.
They will do so by making available, free to veterans, Monty Roberts’ three-day “Horse Sense & Soldiers” program for vets dealing with stress, commencing on Pearl Harbor Day through Dec. 9, 2012. Although all the training slots are filled for the Dec. 7-9, 2012, workshops are filled; a second workshop in what is anticipated to be a continuing joint effort, is set for Jan. 11-13, 2013. (For more information: www.Join-Up.org/veterans.)
Although the Pearl Harbor Day workshop is the first joint-effort involving Patriot Outreach and the California American Legion with Monty Roberts’ “Horse Sense & Soldiers” program, Roberts has achieved remarkable success through the years helping veterans to heal up by joining up with horses by using Roberts’ unique techniques.
“We are very grateful to Monty Roberts and very excited about working with him, and the American Legion of California, to assist veterans overcome stress, trauma, and the scars of war through Monty Roberts’ ‘Horse Sense & Veterans’ program,” said Col. Antonio Monaco (USA, ret.), founder and president of Patriot Outreach (www.PatriotOutreach.org.)
“Patriot Outreach was founded to develop ‘Coping Strategies” to help vets deal with stress, and Monty Roberts’ ‘Horse Sense & Soldiers’ program is one of those creative strategies,” said Monaco, a 38-year, wartime veteran of the Army who went through Roberts’ program himself at Roberts’ invitation.
“Equine therapy and therapeutic riding are gaining acceptance,” Monaco said. “However, Monty Roberts has created a simple, non-intrusive, intervention known as ‘Join-Up,” which offers everyone an effective tool to rediscover themselves through nature. Monty Roberts’ method deals effectively with anti-social behavior and withdrawal. It reawakens and restores one’s purpose and meaning to life. I witnessed firsthand the phenomena of Monty Roberts’ ‘Join-Up’ work with veterans. I saw souls sparkle in just two days.”
Kenneth Kramlich, Commander of the over 100,000-member American Legion Dept. of California, said:
"We salute Monty Roberts for his outstanding equine therapy workshops for aiding veterans to deal with stress. We are proud to work with Patriot Outreach and Monty Roberts in the ‘Horse Sense And Veterans’ workshops beginning this Pearl Harbor Day."
Floyd Martin, a Past California Commander and Past National American Legion Executive Board Member representing California, said: “We have many American Legion programs assisting veterans, and I am thankful to associate with Monty Roberts and his ‘Join-Up’ organization, and Col. Monaco and Patriot Outreach, in this creative ‘Horse Sense & Veterans’ strategy to help heal and bring peace to our comrade veterans.”
Col. Monaco asserts that Monty Robert’s ‘Horse Sense & Veterans’ workshops are effective in helping those troubled by stress, up to and including disabling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Perhaps one of the most remarkable examples of Roberts’ success helping veterans is that of veteran Alicia Washington. She suffered from stress so severe that her life literally hit rock bottom. She ended up on the streets, down and out in every way, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially – homeless, helpless, and hopeless.
Incredible as it may seem, her life was so completely turned around in one (1) three-day Monty Roberts “Horse Sense & Veterans” workshop – and she insists that it was accomplished not in three days but in the “first two hours” of that program -- that she went from her homeless, helpless, and hopeless condition to being so revivified, born again, so to speak, that she applied to and was accepted at Harvard with a full scholarship. Alicia is now working toward a degree in psychology at Harvard -- to help other vets. Col. Monaco considers her transformation “a miracle.” Alicia Washington tells her story, along with Monty Roberts, on a video on the Join-Up website: www.Join-Up.org/veterans.
Monty Roberts, himself, has led a most remarkable life. The son of a horse trainer, he has been around and on horses since he could walk, if not before. As a boy of four, he won his first trophy in rodeo riding. He rode so well as a boy that Hollywood called. In the famous film National Velvet starring the very young Elizabeth Taylor, then but a girl, he was her stunt double. In the scene where she fell off the horse, it was he, not she.
Roberts was involved with horses all through his teenage years and during college. On the way to earning a degree in Animal Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1959), he was on the Cal Poly rodeo team, winning two Intercollegiate Rodeo Association National Championships. He has won some nine World Championships for horsemanship.
But it was when he was just entering his teenage years that he first became aware of what he would later describe as a non-verbal language between horses, that he would name “Equus.” More particularly:
At the age of 13, Roberts was sent to Nevada to round up horses for a rodeo association. There, working with the wild mustangs, Roberts perceived what he believed to be a form of communication between the horses, a kind of non-verbal language of body movements as they interacted. As he matured, he developed his theory that this means of communication between horses was a kind of non-verbal language based on movements which could be understood by humans, allowing them to in effect connect-with, or “join-up,” with the horses in a kind of symbiotic relationship.
Roberts, calling this non-verbal horse language “Equus,” figuratively “listened” to horses by observing this language based on their movements, from obvious to subtle. Roberts used this method of figurative “listening” in training horses, even the most wild and most distrustful of humans, without the use of force and violence. Roberts first utilized this “join up” technique to aid Korean vets with stress, on an individual basis, while he was still in college in the 1950s.
In developing his method of “listening” to horses to train them, Roberts has become world famous as the “Horse Whisperer.” He is the subject of movies, books, documentaries, television shows and series, awards beyond number for horsemanship, and humanitarianism, in America, Europe and elsewhere, particularly England – where the Queen of England has showered him with recognition and allowed him to use her emblem as England’s monarch on his website and materials (See, www.join-up.org.)
He has written several books on his method which have become worldwide best sellers. His first, for example, “The Man Who Listens to Horses,” published in 1996, was on the New York Times best seller list for over a year (58 weeks), was translated into fifteen (15) languages, and sold over 5-million copies. Overall, some 6.5-million of his books have been sold.
So, why is Monty Roberts, who has become so world famous, and whose services with horses are sought by monarchs of realms and monarchs of riches who are willing to pay him any amount, instead spending his time, effort, and money to provide workshops for veterans, for free? I asked him. He answered:
“Since the late 1940s I have stated that my life’s goal is ‘to leave the world a better place for horses and for people, too.’ Veterans returning from combat are not just people but, ‘special people.’ These are individuals who deserve our assistance if there’s anything we can contribute to their lives.
“Jim Banacus, a California neighbor and his partner, Lami Johnstone, encouraged me to attempt to assist PTSD victims with my concepts regarding communication and relationships with horses. After three years, I have been able to help more than a hundred PTSD victims. It is an utter joy to watch them heal.
“It is impossible for me to think of a more meaningful way to leave the world a better place than this act of assisting returning heroes. They are rapidly becoming a large family, one assisting the other through the method that the horses have generously brought to me over the past seven decades.”
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On Pearl Harbor Day 2012, Monty Roberts will remember and honor the veterans of Pearl Harbor and the WWII generation, by helping the heroes of this generation to heal with his “Horse Sense & Soldiers” program. He will be joined in putting on the program by Col. Monaco and Patriot Outreach, and American Legionnaires of the Dept. of California, in what, hopefully, will be an ongoing, expanding, “Horse Sense & Soldiers” project reaching many more veterans for many more years.
If you believe that you, or some veteran you know, perhaps a veteran in your family, would be helped with stress by participating in the “Horse Sense & Veterans” effort of Monty Roberts, joined by Patriot Outreach, and The American Legion Dept. of California, or if you want to join or support this effort to help heal and bring peace to our veterans, please contact www.Join-Up.org/veterans, www.PatriotOutreach.org, or www.CaLegion.org.
© 2012 Rees Lloyd - All Rights Reserved
REES LLOYD is a longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.
He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*
[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]