The “Packing List” is no different than the packing list a Veteran used for a full combat load pack. It is a list of the items you need to survive.
The life experiences of no two Veterans are exactly the same. Likewise, the composition of each Veteran’s tribe and the nature of what each Veteran holds sacred is unique.
Each Warrior Box will therefore be adapted to each Veteran’s individual situation. The packing list serves as a general guide that is designed to be tailored to each Veteran’s needs.
Like everything else in the Warrior Box Project materials set, the "Packing List" is adapted to veteran culture, values and language.
The Fire Team
In creating a Warrior Box, a Veteran:
Accepts their worth in this world
Controls the warrior within themselves
Executes an effective action plan that is driven by their most sacred personal values
This will be the foundation to identifying what a Veteran WILL fight for, and will live for.
A Warrior Box is a relatively small storage case (usually an ammo can) that contains pictures and key mementos that remind a Veteran of what he or she lives for (e.g. names of brothers and sisters in one’s unit, a purple heart medal, more pictures of loved ones, a love letter from one’s partner, a cross or other symbol of enduring faith, letters between Veterans contracting for mutual engagement in times of distress etc.)
The Packing List
We believe that promoting resilience and waging war on the loss of Veterans to times of crisis requires a tribal response.
The Veteran assembles their “Fire Team” and an agreement is made that they will have each others' back in both the peaks and valleys in life.
We developed the “Fire Team Accountability Agreement” to provide a clear set of expectations for both the Veteran and those who agree to walk alongside the Veteran during any valleys that may need to be navigated together.
The Warrior Box is part of a larger strategic intervention that aims to address the problem of impulsive suicide attempts in a way that honors Veteran culture, values and language.The Warrior Box intervention as a whole is designed to help Veterans stay in the fight by staying connected with the people and values that they choose to live for, even in times of distress, or during periods when they are feeling acutely disconnected. The Warrior Box is also meant to create and stimulate ongoing connection between the Veteran and other “battle buddies” or “fire team members” (who may be spouses, trusted civilian friends, supportive and emotionally safe parents, as well as those one served with). The Warrior Box is designed to help all Veterans feel greater connection with others and their own higher values, whether they own guns or not, and whether they ever face times of life-threatening distress or not.
Give Veterans a tangible way to RE-connect with what they vowed to protect: the tribe of those they love and trust and the values they hold most sacred.
Provide Veterans with a powerful method for defining both their individual and tribal identities.
Remind Veterans that the love of their tribe gives their life immeasurable value and that suicide causes massive, irreversible, and sustained collateral damage to those they love.
Provide Veterans AND those in their tribe with a set of clear expectations for how to connect during any times of distress.
The Warrior Box is one part of a larger strategic plan that works within the cultural values and language common to many who have served in the military. Attempts to offer interventions in part (e.g. using the Warrior Box in isolation, and out of context of the full strategic plan) will weaken our attempts to make this as effective as we hope it can be. If you would like to support or partner with us in this work, we ask that you contact us to see how you can go on mission with us.