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Hawaii National Guard

Rene Protacio
Honolulu, Hawaii

When Master Ximena Gavino was in Hawaii for an extended period, she introduced me to one of the guests at our weekly events at the Center who has a son in the military. I introduced myself and what I do with veterans, and he mentioned that his son is the Executive Officer of a Battalion at Hawaii Army National Guard. I asked him for his son’s phone number and if it would be okay to give him a call. He spoke to his son that night, and the next day I was on the phone with Major Joshua Jacobs, U.S. Army.

I asked Major Jacobs for a 30-minute courtesy call at his office to discuss my proposal to meditate with the battalion. During my visit to his office, I shared my background, my various volunteer work, and my proposal for his organization. He agreed to have an initial meditation with his staff (including his Commanding Officer) of about 25 active duty and civilian personnel who work full-time with the organization; they have a group of about 100 reservists who report for monthly drill duties the first weekend of the month.

Master Patrick Sambueno came with me and witnessed how I introduced a 15-minute silent meditation with the instrumental track of Love, Peace and Harmony,  followed by about 15 minutes of Weng Ar Hong active meditation. The next day, I asked Major Jacobs for general feedback on how it was accepted. He said that a majority of the organization felt positive about our meditation practices, and said they would love us to return the following month.

Two weeks before the reservists were supposed to report, I called Major Jacobs and confirmed the date and time he would like us to return to lead a meditation. Master Paul Fletcher and Patrick Sambueno, Sr. came along to support me. Forty-seven men and women in uniform came to meditate with Love, Peace and Harmony and Weng Ar Hong. Many of them approached us after the event. We distributed our Love Peace Harmony business card with the Honolulu Center address and phone number. A few soldiers came to the Center during the following week to attend our Sound of Heart and Soul Healing Night.