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SUNDAY, October 3, 2010

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Akron school
Therapist leads former warriors
district crafts its
on expedition to old battle zone class credit policy
Community helps homecoming
to help heal emotional wounds. dreams come true for area teens
Conflict ended many years ago,
but it still lurks beneath surface
Vietnam 50-14 LOSS
veterans Golden Flashes open MAC play
by losing 27-21 to RedHawks

to search OSU 24, ILLINOIS 13

In todays Beacon Journal:

for souls Up to $193 in coupons

Former Hudson
By Kim Hone-McMahan
Beacon Journal staff writer twins are living the
W hen the soul is so terrorized by what a
person is experiencing, some say, it will
leave the body.
Akrons Tom Saal knows that to be true. His
fled 42 years ago when he was in a rice paddy
dream in Nashville
somewhere south of Da Nang in Vietnam. Today,
Saal will embark on a journey to lure his soul
He was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine
Corps when he ordered his snipers to shoot a
North Vietnamese soldier. When the deed was
done, the men brought the body to Saal. He rooted
through the mans possessions, retrieving photos of
a woman and children.
Thats when I realized we were fighting hu-
LAURA TORCHIA/Special to the Beacon Journal
Above, Vietnam War veteran Tom Saal, 65, a former high school English teacher and Akron
Hospital launches
man beings, he remembered.
The revelation was agonizing. Exhausted, the
22-year-old found a place on the ground to rest his
school board member, works as a housing specialist at Freedom House in Kent. It is a long- recycling initiative
term homeless shelter for veterans. Below, U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Saal is pictured more
weary body and re-
flect. Soon, he drifted
off to sleep.
When I woke up,
BeaconFirst than 40 years ago in a Vietnamese rice paddy south of Da Nang. BETTY LIN-FISHER
Questions answered about
I couldnt believe what I saw. My men had cruci-
fied the guy. Stripped him naked and hung him on credit-card fees and limits
a bamboo cross that they had made, he said, his
voice barely above a whisper. I lost all faith in BUSINESS, D1
mankind that day. Thats when my soul left.
Saal will meet up with four fellow Vietnam vet-
erans and seven others, most of whom departed
from Akron-Canton Airport on Wednesday, with
Warriors Journey Home, a ministry that meets at
First Congregational Church in Tallmadge.
One of the leaders of the three-week expedition
to Vietnam is Dr. Edward Tick, founder of Sol-
U.S. issuing
diers Heart, a veterans healing project based in
New York. A nationally known expert on the psy-
chological, spiritual, historical and cultural aspects
of war, Tick is the author of War and the Soul,
an advisory
writing about others who have returned to former
Please see Vietnam, A8 for traveling
in Europe
Government will urge citizens
Early voting alters campaign strategies with partisan passions and high-pro-
to be cautious as result of threats
By Matthew Lee and Eileen Sullivan
Associated Press

Candidates struggle with need for more volunteers, TV ads to get out their message file offices at stake, early voting is
WASHINGTON: The Obama administration
will warn U.S. citizens to be vigilant as they
expected to be more popular than travel in Europe, updated guidance prompted
By Paula Schleis supporters have had to make risky said Tom Speaks, co-owner of the ever.
Beacon Journal staff writer decisions about when to spend limit- Impact Group, a Hudson firm that by al-Qaida threats, American and European
Election officials predict one- officials said Saturday.
The City Club of Cleveland has ed marketing funds: Before the first consults with many local cities , third of voters will cast a ballot be-
voters started heading to the polls school districts and candidates. Such a move could have negative implica-
scheduled several political debates fore Nov. 2, and that, Speaks said, tions for European tourism, business and di-
for October, even though thousands Sept. 28, or when races traditionally has profoundly changed the politi-
of people in the region have already heat up in the days before the Nov. 2 A full statewide slate plomacy if travelers fear theres a possibility
cal landscape. of terrorist attacks.
cast a ballot. General Election. Ohio voters have been able to cast For groups supporting candidates
Many Ohio newspapers have yet No doubt about it, Ohios early early ballots without giving a reason The State Department will issue a travel
and issues, early voting means a need alert for Europe today that advises Americans
to endorse a choice for governor, voting law has turned campaign since 2005, but this is only the sec- for more volunteers, longer commit-
though many voters have already strategies upside down. ond time a full slate of statewide rac- to stay vigilant on the continent because of
ment and sustained enthusiasm. threat information, senior U.S. officials said.
made an irrevocable decision. Those who are not embracing es has been in the mix.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymi-
Meanwhile, candidates and issue the change are missing the boat, With a political season so charged Please see Early, A4 ty, because a final decision has not been an-
This travel alert is a cumulative result of
information we have received over an extend-

ed periods, one senior administration official
Todays weather INSIDE said. We are constantly monitoring a range
of threat streams and have monitored this and
Stories labeled "Beacon First" are Dear Abby ................ E2 Crossword ................ E2 Movies .....................E4 others for some time.
Mostly cloudy; published in the newspaper before Books ...................... E3 Deaths ................. B5-7 Sheldon Ocker ......... C1 State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley
a shower, appearing online. Breaking news declined to comment on the matter. But he
breezy and still appears first on Business ................. D1 Editorial ................. A10 Premier ................... E1 said the administration remains focused on al-
Qaida threats to U.S. interests and will take
colder Classified ................. F1 Horoscope ............. F11 Sports ..................... C1 appropriate steps to protect Americans.
Community .............. B1 Jumble ..................... F9 Sudoku .................... E4 A European official briefed on the talks
49 High 42 Low
Forecast, Page B8 Crime Watch ............ B4 Lottery .....................B2 Travel ...................... E6 Please see Europe, A6

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CC A8 MO Akron Beacon Journal d Sunday, October 3, 2010 Search Edition

Vietnam veterans join circle of healing

Continued from Page A1
war zones in search of their souls.
In his book, Tick tells of a client
who witnessed the moment his soul
left his body during a mortar attack.
It ran faster than me, yards ahead
of me. I wanted to lie down and let
them kill me. But it was like I was be-
ing pulled along in a jet stream. I
couldnt stop. I guess my soul didnt
want me to die yet, the man said.
F or some , healing comes only
when a soldier returns to the place
where his soul was lost. But not all
who are going on the trip believe
theyve left their souls in Vietnam.
My soul is right here, Ralph
Knerem said, the dog tags around his
neck clinking when he tapped his
Holding the cross
A wooden cross hangs on the wall
inside Knerems Streetsboro apart-
ment. Its nothing fancy; it might
catch your eye because of its simplici-
ty rather than its ornateness.
I slept with that cross in my bed
from 83 to 89 when I was having such
a hard time, said Knerem who was a
U.S. Army infantry soldier. Ive
screamed, had nightmares, flashbacks.
Ive seen Satan and reached out for
Vietnamese in my sleep, but nothing
was there. All the time, I held the
Knerem and some of the others
have been diagnosed with post-trau-
matic stress disorder (PTSD), which
can cause flashbacks trapping people
in a frightening period of their life, or,
for warriors, an attack in which they LAURA TORCHIA/Special to the Beacon Journal
were injured or forced to kill someone Vietnam veteran Tom Saal recites a poem he wrote about his combat experience as Warriors Journey Home members Anne Carter (left) and Lynette Brown listen.
to save their lives. Left un-
treated, PTSD can fester.
Therapists advice
W ith the help of a
counselor, Knerem, who
served three tours in Viet-
nam between 1967 and
1969 , says his life has
turned around, though it
took years. During the
trip, he will follow his
therapists advice.
On the last day Im
there, I will get on my
knees, scoop up a handful
of dirt, bless it and throw
it over my shoulder, he
explained , tapping his
foot, snug inside a camou-
flage moccasin. The
counselor said that would
complete my history on
Vietnam. It will be over.
Finished. Done.
Like so many others re-
turning from V ietnam ,
Knerem was given less
than a heros welcome. In-
stead, on his way back
from a tour, a brawl erupt-
ed inside a bar at a Chica-
go airport after patrons
called him and a pal baby
Certainly, the vets, and
those who support them, Shianne Eagleheart holds an abalone shell containing smoking sage and uses an eagle
wish things had been dif- feather to fan the smoke as Vietnam veteran Charles Forsyth enters the healing circle.
ferent, that the warriors
had been respected for their bravery gregational Church of Tallmadge, volved in the group. Healing takes
when they returned to U.S. soil. But S hianne E agleheart , of Haudeno - place through stories, and listening is a
there was another war of sorts taking saunne-Seneca descent, begins the big part of that.
place here. Four students were killed Warriors Journey Home meetings by
at Kent State University and there If we have 50 people in our circle
passing an abalone shell containing . . . 25 of them will be civilians. We
were other protests throughout the smoking sage around the room. In a
nation calling for the war to end. Hav- call them the People of Strong Hearts
Native American tradition known as whose responsibility it is to share the
ing left as adolescents, many soldiers smudging, the participants inhale the Tom Saal, 65, a Marine during the Vietnam War, is reflected in a case containing
returned as shamed and bewildered burdens of what our combat veterans
smoke and sometimes fan the cloud have experienced, Schluep said. his medals, including one of two Purple Hearts that he received. Below, Saals leg
adults. over their heads and bodies. is scarred from a land mine blast. He spent a year at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
When we came back, the inno- Thats because the veterans have sac-
cence was gone, lamented Charles The custom is done to cleanse both rificed on their behalf.
Forsyth of North Olmsted, who was a physically and spiritually , lifting away covery. Working in partnership with
rifleman with the U.S. Marine Corps. all negative energy. At the altar Warriors Journey Home, she is a
F orsyth s buddy , S aal , started We offer our gratitude to our Na- At the center of the circle is a small calming force during the biweekly
school at Kent just a few weeks after tive Elders for preserving these sacred altar. Leaning on the table is the Talk- meetings. Along with others, she and
the shootings. teachings so that we may know how ing Stick, borrowed from the Native Schluep listen as the soldiers share
to live, Eagleheart explained. American tradition. The person who their stories tales of war and their
I had a professor call me out of journey to cope and heal.
class and ask what I was doing in Viet- Smudging is also believed to help wishes to speak holds the stick, with a
nam, Saal said. It was embarrassing. heal veterans who are plagued with promise that as long as he is in posses- The men sob when talking about
So I just shut down. PTSD. According to the U.S. Depart- sion of it, he can speak the truth with- watching people die, and chuckle
His body filled with shrapnel, Saal ment of Veterans Affairs, 31 percent of out interruption or judgment. when remembering the Vietnamese
hasnt enjoyed a full nights sleep since Vietnam veterans are afflicted with The Vietnam veterans are in their children they befriended. Some admit
his legs were nearly blown off in 1968, the disorder. 60s now. Theyve earned their wrin- that PTSD and anger destroyed their
when he stepped on a land mine. To help those who are suffering, kles through time and war. Some are marriages, made them turn to drugs
Dr. Tick says that will change, the Rev. John Schluep of First Congre- white or graying, others can grow and alcohol or caused them to go tem-
Saal said, smiling. Thats the deal I gational began the group four years more hair on their chins than the tops porarily insane. They talk about being
return to Vietnam and he promises I ago. Its designed to support veterans of their heads. Some display bumps too ashamed to explain to their par-
will sleep. of all conflicts, including World War just below the flesh, a sign of embed- ents what happened in the jungles and
II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq ded shrapnel. how other people generally dont care
Circle of healing and Afghanistan. to hear the gory details.
M edicine can help ease some Schluep, 59, who was stationed in A calming force Still, with all of that, Schluep main-
symptoms, but sometimes it takes Alaska during the post-Vietnam era as Eagleheart is a chemical dependen- tains that he doesnt hear war stories
more than a pill to treat the pain of an infantry officer in a combat-ready cy counselor and founder of the Red on Sunday nights.
war. unit of the Army, explained its impor- Bird Center near Cambridge; she spe-
Every other Sunday at First Con- tant that nonmilitary folks also be in- cializes in trauma and addiction re- Please see Warriors, A9


Five veterans from the region are returning to Vietnam
Tallmadge ministry helping
Vietnam veterans find peace
A dozen local people with Warriors Saigon, Can Ranh Bay, Hue and Dong Ha,
Journey Home, a ministry that meets at Torchia will update a blog. To view that blog,
First Congregational Church of Tallmadge, visit
are traveling to Vietnam. Among the group
are five Vietnam veterans who will revisit When they return, Beacon Journal staff
areas where they engaged in combat. writer Kim Hone-McMahan will write about
Saal Oskar the veterans trip and the effect it had on
Caley Forsyth Knerem Many veterans remember only the them.
destruction, death and mayhem in the path
JOE CALEY Postwar career: Counselor. Regiment. of war. Returning will Warriors Journey Home meetings are
25th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog, 1st Family: Married, six children. Age: 65. allow them to replace held at 6 p.m. every other Sunday at the
Cavalry, U.S. Marines. those old memories church, 85 Heritage Drive, Tallmadge.
Home: Akron.
Age: 63. with new vision. While there will be meetings tonight and
RALPH KNEREM Postwar career: High school English Oct. 17, the next session the travelers will
Home: Tallmadge. 8th Maintenance Battalion, 173rd teacher. Traveling with the
veterans are family attend is Oct. 31. Also at that session will
Postwar career: Cook. Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army. Family: Separated, four children.
members, friends and be Dr. Edward Tick, founder of Soldiers
Family: Married, two children. Age: 65. Heart, and John Fisher, senior veteran
Laura Torchia, a senior
Home: Streetsboro. RON OSKAR visual journalism major Torchia liaison for Soldiers Heart. The men are co-
Postwar career: Army, lineman, driver. 1st Logistics Command, U.S. Army. at Kent State leading the journey to Vietnam.
Mike Company 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, Family: Divorced, three children. Age: 64. University. Torchia, 36, will be taking To learn more, visit Soldiers Heart at
1st Marine Division. Home: Springfield Township. photographs for the Beacon Journal. and Warriors
Age: 61. TOM SAAL Postwar career: Labor relations officer. During the three-week mission, which Journey Home at http://www.warriors
Home: North Olmsted. India Company 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Family: Divorced, one child. will take the group to places such as or 330-633-4931.

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CC Akron Beacon Journal d Sunday, October 3, 2010 Search Edition A9

Aging veterans return
to former battle zone
Continued from Page A8
Instead, I hear love stories, he
said. Stories about love of country
and love of family.
What it will be like
Joe Caley is nervous about return-
ing to Vietnam. Hes not like the oth-
ers, who are going back to visit a spe-
cific area. As a First Air Cavalry scout
dog handler, he walked point in search
of the enemy. He and Baron, a Ger-
man shepherd whose job included
alerting Caley to booby traps and pos-
sible ambushes, were continually
moving . G enerally , those walking
point saw the carnage first. But with
his wife, Mona, by his side, he will re-
turn, despite his trepidation.
Sometimes acquaintances ask me
why I want to go there. They say that
its stupid and asked why Im taking
my wife, he said, sitting inside Tag-
garts, a restaurant owned by Mona in
Tallmadge. So I sort of get the same
feeling of shame that I had when I
came home from Vietnam when I tell
people that Im going back.
How do you explain why youre
going back when you dont know why
yourself? asked Caley, the only man
among the traveling group who was
drafted. I have a great deal of anxiety
about it, but I guess I just want to put
it to rest.
There was a lot of destruction LAURA TORCHIA/Special to the Beacon Journal
done, but it was by both sides. Im told Veterans and civilians form a healing circle at Warriors Journey Home, a ministry that meets every other Sunday at First Congregational Church in Tallmadge.
now that our search-and-destroy mis-
sions will be replaced with missions of
peace and healing. 1970, he looked over his shoulder and Tears, the man replied, realizing
declared that portion of his life was that he wouldnt be crying if he had no
Significant sites
The group will travel to sites that
over never imagining he would re-
But its never really over, ex-
And which part of us feels? Tick
Super Bowl raffle will help
have particular significance to the vet-
erans, even if it takes hours over rug-
ged roads to get there, explained
plained the 64-year-old from Spring-
field Township, who served as quar-
termaster in the U.S. Ar m y.
Stumbling over his words, the man
replied, My heart and soul.
And who sees the souls of the
pay expenses of Vietnam trip
Ticks wife, Kate Dahlstedt, who will
not be traveling on this mission, but Reconciling with the enemy is some- dead? Which part of us can see souls? To help offset expenses for those Station Grille, Tallmadge Recreational
has helped guide several other veter- thing I never thought I would be do- Tick inquired. traveling to Vietnam with Warriors Center and some of those connected to
ans back to Vietnam. ing. But, unlike the first time, this is a Only the soul, the man answered. Journey Home, a raffle for two Super the mission, including Jane Huffman at
Oftentimes, we get to meet with journey of peace. . . . I guess I do still have a soul. Bowl XLV tickets is being held. 330-633-9628, or by ordering online at
former soldiers, either those who Now its time to make friends with it Tallmadge resident John Parry, a
fought with us or some of the Viet Haunted by memory again. referee for the National Football League, In addition to the tickets, the winner
Cong. So theres an opportunity for In his book, Tick writes about a There has been much planning and is donating the tickets to the game Feb. of the raffle will receive a stipend for
reconciliation. That is absolutely mag- man on a reconciliation visit to Viet- mental preparation by the men and 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, travel. Parry said it could be cash, though
ical, Dahlstedt said. They hug, show nam who was haunted by the memory women who form a circle every other Texas. he and Schluep, with First
each other their scars, laugh and share of a 14-year-old boy he had killed. He Sunday night in the brick church. So The NFL has always been a strong Congregational Church, have asked
food or wine with us. Theres a real told the author about seeing the souls Tom Saal is about as prepared as any- supporter of our military, said Parry, Marriott Hotels, Continental Airlines and
sense of camaraderie like we all sort of the dead when the bus drove past one can be when searching for a soul who is in his 11th year as a referee for American Airlines to contribute the flights
of survived the same hell, so now we the rice paddies. he lost when he was just a kid. and accommodations.
What will it feel like when your the NFL. This was an opportunity for me
can be brothers. That is the attitude My soul. . . . Its gone. Ive been . . . to support a local military The drawing will take place Nov. 11 at
of the Vietnamese. without a soul since the war. I killed soul re-enters your body? he was
asked. foundation as well as support the efforts Delanies, 67 West Ave., Tallmadge. A
The decorated veterans have been innocent people. I killed a boy. I did and vision of [the Rev.] John Schluep maximum of 2,500 tickets will be sold.
told that they will see a beautiful wrong. I cant feel a thing, the man Ill let you know, he said, as a
clock in his apartment chimed the and his mission. The time of the drawing hasnt been
country that has thrived since the war said. The $10 raffle tickets are available at announced, but Parry said it will probably
ended. War-torn villages have been tune When You Wish Upon a Star.
T ick took the warrior s hand , We will be ready to listen. Delanies Neighborhood Grille, First be during that Thursday nights NFL
rebuilt, and people are happy and en- raised it to his face, gingerly nudged Congregational Church of Tallmadge, Erie game broadcast.
joying normal lives. him to wipe away his own tears, and Kim Hone-McMahan can be reached at 330-996-3742
The day Ron Oskar left Vietnam in then asked what he had felt. or

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