Carrying Out My Mission for Kosen-rufu!
Members of the Veterans/Active Duty Conference at FNCC determined to inspire one youth to join the SGI and participate in next year's 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival.
WESTON, Fla., Nov. 10–13— “I Will Carry Out My Mission for Kosen-rufu Here!” Under this theme, 165 participants joined the sixth SGI-USA Veterans/Active Duty Conference on Nov. 10–13 at the Florida Nature and Culture Center.
Military personnel often experience extremely stressful situations during their service, and the purpose of the conference is to explore their mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth with the unique experience of serving in the U.S. military. The gathering provided opportunities for the participants to deepen their understanding of Nichiren Buddhism through study, and create new and lasting bonds of friendship through dialogue.
In his message to the conference, SGI President Ikeda wrote: “As proud veterans and active duty SGI members, I ask that you work together cheerfully and harmoniously in your local communities to broaden your efforts to hold sincere and inspiring dialogues as you continue to expand our network of peace and hope.”
The conference included sessions on practicing Buddhism while serving in the military, post-traumatic stress disorder, services for veterans and President Ikeda’s guidance on living a life of victory.
Each week, more than 1,000 youth are introduced to Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism at introductory meetings held at 43 military bases across the U.S. West Territory Vice Men’s Leader Kevin Moncrief started his Buddhist practice in 1983 at an intro-to-Buddhism meeting at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
At the conference, Mr. Moncrief was appointed the new SGI-USA director of Military Personnel Support. He is a former Army military police officer and Air Force computer/ communications officer.
“Being angry was an everyday emotion,” said Mark Victor, a former reconnaissance Marine, who shared his experience.“However, with this amazing practice, I mustered the strength to challenge my PTSD and chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to turn my karma into my mission.”
Together with their mentor, each member at the conference determined to inspire one youth to join the SGI and ensure that they participate in next year’s historic movement of the 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival.