This is written in praise of Sebastian Junger’s new book “TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging”. So far most of the attention on Foxhole has been focused on the Earthship part. And while that was the origin of the idea for foxhole it is not the most important part, belonging to a tight community (Tribe) is.
We are excited about our buildings, but they are only tools to meet certain physical and needs, the healing of the soul after the traumas of war happens best in a community that understands, and that what Foxhole Homes is about. Our motto is “Sustainable Homes AND COMMUNITY for veterans in need.” (emphasis added).
We are excited about both of those parts. We can help with houses and food forests and shop space for cottage industries, and all of those are important. But it is veterans taking care of veterans that is at the heart of the Foxhole mission. Junger’s work points out that the societies that have the lowest rates of Chronic PTSD are warrior cultures. Cultures who’s members support one another on coming home and genuinely feel like they belong.
It makes sense in a society that is so fractured we are desperate to belong, and we look to sports teams and hobbies as a pale substitute for real belonging. The “Earthship Army” is an example moving in the right direction. It is amazing to me how many people are helping other people build Earthships. The struggle, camaraderie, and fulfillment are amazing. Most will never build for themselves but find meaning and purpose in supporting a mission they can believe in.
If you are looking for a tribe, maybe you can join us as our community expands, maybe you can start a community of your own. It does not have to be a place, that is not what defines it. Rather it is a group, it is a tribe. BTW go read Junger’s book!