25 Jun Intrepid Warrior Retreat Makes Big Impact for Combat-Wounded Vets
Boerne, TX – June 25, 2018 – Hill Country Family Service’ Intrepid Warrior program hosted a retreat for combat-wounded veterans at the Wilson Ranch in Frio Town, Texas from June 22 – 24. The event brought 16 Marine veterans together from Texas, Virginia, Oregon, Missouri, and Minnesota. Former Marine Bryan Wilson, Intrepid Warrior Program Coordinator, and HCFS CEO, Jamie Cox, led the retreat.
“We organized the retreat to facilitate camaraderie, group discussions, art therapy and other group activities like hunting and swimming,” said Wilson. “For many of the vets in the group, this was their first time seeing each other in years. There’s a lot of emotions, laughter, tears and sharing of stories about themselves and friends who were killed during their deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Cox, who’s also a Marine veteran, spent much of his time just sitting and listening to the different groups. “This is really hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been in combat,” opined the CEO. “These men gave some of the best years of their lives to serve our nation. We asked them to do some of the hardest things imaginable. They lived for months on end with the constant threat and fear of people trying to kill them. Some of them were physically wounded… the loss of legs and arms. Burns. All of them suffer emotionally from their time in combat… the loss of close friends and squad mates.”
“Ultimately, what these guys seek in life is a measure of peace and joy,” added Cox. “They fight a lot of haunting memories that impact their relationships, jobs and everyday lives. It’s hard for people to understand their experiences and the aftereffects. It’s even harder for them to open up to people who won’t understand. The Intrepid Warrior retreats give them a chance to share not only their good and bad memories of the war, but also the current challenges they face in their lives.”
HCFS and the Intrepid Warrior program are currently in the planning stages for the next retreat. “We have been blessed to have such a generous community,” said the CEO. “This past weekend, the use of the Wilson Ranch was donated by Mike Wilson of Kerrville. His brother, Kyle Wilson, who’s a construction equipment dealer in Uvalde provided an ATV to get the retreatants around the ranch. Pulsar contributed night vision scopes and equipment. Our aim is to provide a quality, unique, safe environment for these vets that allows them to continue the healing process.”
To support the next Intrepid Warrior retreat, donations can be made at www.hcfstx.org/donate/ . Donations will be used for food, drink, art supplies and transportation assistance.