Yes, that is what I felt was interesting about the particular journalism, that it was not the usual story of formative comradeship bonds that is often told around military combat service, but of the finding of the deep comradeship experience in working in groups to provide humanitarian services.
A lot of TM teachers had this experience and now as veteran TM teachers have a special bond in life from those 'formative' times. You can see that instant familial connection here in Fairfield in any of the coffee shops or places that old meditators run in to each other. S3 writing, Re "It's a sense of purpose thing for me. You're part of something that's much larger than yourself. ": I understand where he's coming from. (An excellent Yank idiom that!) And good luck to him. But is it really so impossible a task to build a social order that gives all who yearn for a common, shared and noble purpose (which is not everyone's goal in life of course) a rewarding task improving the lot of citizens at home? It's pretty dispiriting when the only option you can see is to risk life and limb and hone your skills killing johnny foreigner. I'm no pacifist so I'm not denying either the courage needed or the necessity of (some) wars. I've mentioned before that if I were American I'd work alongside similarly motivated citizens for reform of your brutal prison system. Some similarities to early heady times in Transcendental Meditation.. an NPR interview, “13 years as a civilian working in Iraq and Afghanistan — about his deployment and readjustment to life”. Finding A 'Sense Of Purpose' Hard To Find in Life "Even though these sorts of tours are very challenging and very disappointing at times, they also give a great sense of purpose that is really difficult to duplicate elsewhere. Because it's not an adrenaline thing. It's a sense of purpose thing for me. You're part of something that's much larger than yourself. You work with colleagues that put their all into something. You have people who - whose lives are being impacted for better and for worse." For Veterans, A 'Sense Of Purpose' Hard To Find In Life After Iraq http://www.npr.org/2016/04/03/472859068/for-veterans-a-sense-of-purpose-hard-to-find-in-life-after-iraq http://www.npr.org/2016/04/03/472859068/for-veterans-a-sense-of-purpose-hard-to-find-in-life-after-iraq For Veterans, A 'Sense Of Purpose' Hard To Find ... http://www.npr.org/2016/04/03/472859068/for-veterans-a-sense-of-purpose-hard-to-find-in-life-after-iraq Rachel Martin talks to Matt Sherman — who spent 13 years as a civilian working in Iraq and Afghanistan — about his deployment and readjustment to life in t... View on www.npr.org http://www.npr.org/2016/04/03/472859068/for-veterans-a-sense-of-purpose-hard-to-find-in-life-after-iraq Preview by Yahoo The loss of 'TM as group', not unlike where in a group 'connection' there are levels of 'Brotherhood' or 'sisterhood' where there is a mutual agreement that one will put the welfare and safety of the group above your own in a level of 'Brotherhood', putting the welfare of the group above your own.. At a time there was that in TM, as by example like portrayed in some classics like the Iliad, in WWII for some, for some young Marines bonding in Afghanistan or in Fallujah coming in to a bond in a small group of trust who they may come to love more than themselves. Some folks leaving from that level of a communal brotherhood then, separated going out and coming back in to society as an individual without a ready bond of group one may not know who to trust. One can imagine the psychological distress for some people when they leave something like this level of connection within group that they loved for a time. It can be an exercise for some depending on personal resources. Coping then with a loss of a level of communal 'camaraderie' for those being turned out in larger society like happened at a time with some old TM'ers, then places like Fairfield, Iowa or yahoo-groups may offer congregate forum offering a resting place for folks to come together within accepted formative values. Some people evidently do groups better than others, how then to bring diverse peoples back in to a larger civil group context though? The yahoo-groups guidelines as a template are a thoughtful attempt at the exercise of group civility and cohesion. Evidently in coming in to cohesion it takes both a personal and group constitution in self-control, and hence a discipline and moderation by the individual and the group to be of benefit to the individual or the group. One can kind of understand some of the old TM'ers the way they may yet be looking for community as they once had. That communal something, that brotherhood that they had during their formative heady days of youth whence TM was coming in to its own back in the 60's and 70's. Those were powerful times in camaraderie, something that some people may not ascend to have in their lives like that at all. There are few environments or careers that produce or give that level of feeling of purpose and communal connectedness. A lot of old TM'ers evidently as they formatively 'came of age' it was back in the heady days of TM in the 60's and 70's. At a time that may have been one of those more powerful times of community for some in their whole lives. Some people in their early lives may never really have a cultivated experience of community, of navigating a healthy bonded group experience, like army brats that get moved frequently around in their youth may miss out on this in those formative years. TM for some may well have been that most powerful experience of group community, of brotherhood in anything. Seeing this or making note of it I feel makes sympathetic characters of several people you may see in TM or maybe on the internet. -JaiGuruYou # # Interesting reporting now about sub-culture in motorcycle gangs. Asocial Ex-military and ex-law enforcement types hoping for 'brotherhood' lost, as thugs in costume. ..In a sociology looking for 'brotherhood' the motorcycle gangs flourish within our larger civil society, some members had come hoping for connection with old or lost fraternity and hooking some of their latent asocial characteristics with a gang-bang lawlessness allowed for inside a larger [un-moderated] group. Motorcycle camaraderie.. http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/05/19/the-biker-gangs-of-texas http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/05/19/the-biker-gangs-of-texas http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/05/19/former-bike-gang-member-explains http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/05/19/former-bike-gang-member-explains