Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

June 1, 2014

VETERANS’ CORNER: A look at retreats, camps for veterans, family members

Weatherford Democrat


Over the past 10 years, different organizations have begun offering “retreats” or “camps” to veterans or their families, or both. Often, the retreats and camps are offered at little or no cost and are intended to provide the veteran or family member an opportunity to experience a place and time specifically designated to them.

Many of the venues have “themes” and many of those themes relate to experiencing connection with the natural world and with others who have gone through the same experiences. As with all wellness resources, it is a good idea to fully investigate the resource and to discuss it with your care team to determine the appropriateness of the event. Here are a few retreats and camps available to the veteran and his/her family:

Camp Patriot


Camp Patriot is a five-star rated non-profit organization that has transformed the lives of hundreds of wounded and disabled veterans. This important task has been accomplished by fostering trusted relationships created through their unique outdoor programs. Each program is specifically designed to deliver a powerful life transformation.

Hearts of Valor


Hearts of Valor seeks to honor the service and sacrifice of the women who care for our nation’s wounded, ill or injured warriors by providing a community of support based on a foundation of empathy and mutual understanding. Hearts of Valor is a network created and maintained by Operation Homefront.

Lone Survivor Foundation


The Lone Survivor Foundation ranch retreats are designed to focus on serving America’s wounded warrior along with their families as unit. The retreats are hosted by experienced therapists with the incorporation of activities concentrating on team building exercises. The ranch setting provides ample opportunity for relaxation with a healthy environment.

Operation Restored Warrior


Operation Restored Warrior’s mission is to raise up these wounded warriors to speak, share, and move with courage and certainty in order that those held captive to their experiences may find a way to be released from their tragic memories.

Camp Hope


Camp Hope introduces the outdoors to disabled veterans, enabling them to continue their rehabilitation doing things they loved before their injuries or illnesses. Camp Hope was started after the son of William and Galia White’s son, Christopher Neal White, a 23-year-old Marine, was killed in Iraq in 2006.

Chaps Vets


Established in 2004, Chap Vets has recently expanded to provide assisted activities and equine leaning for veterans. Chap Vets provides therapeutic riding, equine assisted activities, vocational rehabilitation and equine facilitated learning and psychotherapy opportunities for veterans receiving in-patient VA services.

These are just a few of the many retreats/camps available for military veterans and their families. Take the time to carefully research these and any other locations, as well as consulting with medical personnel.

AmVets welcomes new member Brandon Robertson, newly inducted into the U.S. Army.

Speak to you again next week.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133 in Mineral Wells.