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Recharging Veterans to Help Them Thrive | Health

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Recharging Veterans to Help Them Thrive
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Recharging Veterans to Help Them Thrive

Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness offers military veterans an effective way to recharge after combat deployments and then thrive in civilian life


This Veterans Day, the country will honor our 22 million veterans. The holiday, which was originally called Armistice Day, was first celebrated on the one year anniversary of the ending of World War I. In 1926, November 11th became a national observance, with the name change of Veteran’s Day occurring in 1954. This holiday is the day for Americans to pay respect and to celebrate those who served and are still alive. This day is also a great day to reflect and better understand what the veterans in your community need to help them thrive as they transition to civilian status.

“Our job at Boulder Crest Retreat is to help veterans come home and become the productive members here in society like they were when they deployed.  I don’t buy in to the ‘pity me’ stories.  Our military and veteran personnel have always been the strength of this great nation.  14+ years of war takes a toll on just about everyone and our programs here at Boulder Crest Retreat are designed to recharge and propel veterans and their families back in to civilian life,” said Ken Falke, chairman and founder of Boulder Crest Retreat.

Statistics back up the facts that military veterans need more services to help them smoothly transition back into civilian life. Many suffer from a variety of issues, including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that up to 27 percent of veterans who served in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD, another 12 percent of Desert Storm veterans do, and 30 percent of Vietnam veterans do. Additionally, the American Psychological Association reports that suicide rates among returning veterans are up, as is the number of returning personnel do not seek out the help they need.

Here are some tips for welcoming and assisting transitioning veterans:

·      Acknowledge veterans for their service and let them know how powerful their example of service, sacrifice and selflessness is to all of us at home.

·      Take genuine interest in veterans’ transition process and success at home. Two-thirds of veterans report difficulties transitioning to civilian life; use your experience and understanding of the civilian world to determine how you can make this journey less difficult.

·      Engage veterans using your hobbies and interests. We know that activities such as meditation, yoga, gardening, and time outdoors provide strong health benefits; invite them to join you for whatever helps you clear your mind and achieve quiet.

·      Talk to veterans about their career goals and interests, and see how you can support them through such activities like reviewing resumes, practicing interview questions and providing connections.

·      Join a veterans-focused nonprofit that encourages civilian participation, such as Team Red White & Blue or Team Rubicon. It will help build bridges between veterans and civilians and offer you countless benefits as well.

·      If you notice that a veteran friend, colleague or acquaintance is struggling, ask how they are doing and encourage them to seek the assistance that they deserve. There are a number of programs (such as Boulder Crest Retreat) and tools available to ensure that veterans have the opportunity to heal and live a great life here at home.

“We created our facility and programs here in Bluemont, Virginia to perfect a process for what we call combat-related stress recovery. We use the word related, because stress in a family is contagious and we must have high quality programs that include military veterans, individual family members, and the families as a whole,” added Falke. “Our motto is Healing Heroes, One Family at a Time. Our next goal is to scale our programs nationwide.  This way, our impact will be felt nation wide.”

Boulder Crest Retreat is a place solely dedicated for military combat veterans and their family members. Families go to the mountain retreat for a week for intense therapy that includes such things as yoga, equine therapy, art, music, meditation, recreational therapies, nature time, and more. All programs are free of charge for a 2-7 nights at the 37-acre retreat. 

The Retreat welcomes combat-veterans who are active-duty, reserve and National Guard, veterans, family members and caregivers, and Gold Star Families. Boulder Crest Retreat is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that is funded entirely by private donations by individuals and organizations from around the country. For more information about the retreat, please go to www.bouldercrestretreat.org. View a video about the Boulder Crest Retreat here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KztgmScOQLw.


Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness is a rural sanctuary that provides free accommodations, recreational and therapeutic activities and programs to help our nation’s military and veteran personnel and their families recover and reconnect during their long journey of healing from physical and invisible wounds of war. The 37-acre retreat is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia, just 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. The Retreat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is entirely funded through private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information about Boulder Crest Retreat, please visit http://www.bouldercrestretreat.org.





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