20 Retreats for Veterans & Active Duty Military
This week I came off a relaxing week at a totally free retreat for military veterans and their families in western Michigan.
As a result, I was inspired to share with our largely military clientele base a list of 20 retreats for veterans and/or active duty military. Many of these retreats are available to significant others and families as well.
What’s even more amazing is that all of these retreats are FREE! However, a few require a small, refundable commitment fee, and you must go through an application process with all of them. I’m so excited to share this list with you, so let’s get right into it!
20 RETREATS FOR VETERANS & ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY
Who is it for? Special Operations Forces from all branches of the military, and their families.
What can you expect? Landing Zone Grace is a place of respite for combat weary warriors and their families. It is a secure and confidential place for our Warriors and Rescuers to come home to. This family farm aims to provide a sanctuary of rest, renewal, and hope to Special Operations Forces transitioning from combat to life at home.
Where do retreats take place?: Virginia Beach, VA.
Who is it for? Veterans and their significant other.
What can you expect? Mayslake Ministries offers a free Catholic retreat program. The program is designed to help participants spiritually heal and reconcile with God, themselves, and others. At this retreat, veterans are encouraged to share their story in a safe environment.
Where do retreats take place? Mundelein, IL and Racine, WI.
Who is it for? Veterans, active duty, and their families.
What can you expect? The Active Heroes Retreat Center is the first retreat in America designed by military families to help military families heal. Visitors can schedule a day to visit the grounds during hours of staffing, plan a cabin vacation, or sign up for selected camping dates.
Where do retreats take place? Shepherdsville, KY.
Who is it for? Retreats are open to active-duty service members, veterans, Guard and Reserve families from all branches of the military and all eras. All families, including the LGBTQ+ community are welcome at our retreats. Families/couples that are looking for a therapeutic environment to help them reconnect, navigate communication challenges, help all members of the family (including children) learn and understand Post Traumatic Stress and how to work together in challenging times restore family cohesion will benefit from our therapeutic retreats.
What can you expect? Project Sanctuary hosts therapeutic retreats in five states across the country that are staffed and designed by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, licensed counselors and social workers.
Where do retreats take place? Various locations across the U.S.
Who is it for? Post 9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones.
What can you expect? Through the experience of fly fishing, Warriors and Quiet Waters (WQW) is a catalyst for positive change in the lives of post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones. WQW is an organization that helps veterans rekindle their love for the outdoors.
Where do retreats take place? Various Locations in Montana.
Who is it for? Disabled or wounded veterans.
What can you expect? Camp Patriot Veteran Retreat Ranch is a one-of-a-kind facility and dedicated to wounded and disabled veterans of all generations. The ranch encompasses over 90 acres of gorgeous fields and pine forests. Also, it has access to a spring-fed lake and the Yaak River. Guests are offered an authentic Montana back-country experience combined with modern day luxuries.
Where do retreats take place? Various locations in Montana.
Who is it for? Military veterans and their families.
What can you expect? Dare to Dream Ranch is a holistic and alternative military retreat for service members, veterans, and their families. Therefore, they offer yoga, massage, nutrition education, and exercise opportunities. They use equine, hypno-, group, and plant therapies. Their programs are designed to help with post-traumatic stress (PTS), anxiety, depression, military sexual trauma (MST), and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Where do retreats take place? Foster, Rhode Island.
Who is it for? Injured veterans and their families.
What can you expect? Participants receive an all-inclusive, all-expenses-paid, barrier-free vacation in Maine. Retreats include adaptive activities, bonding with other veteran families, and much-needed rest and relaxation in Maine’s outdoors.
Where do retreats take place? Manchester, MN.
Who is it for? Combat wounded service members or veterans and their families.
What can you expect? Freedom Alliance helps military couples repair and renew their marriages. They help fathers reunite and build stronger bonds with their children. They show their appreciation for the times that combat deployments separate families. Freedom Alliance realizes the individual needs of participants, therefore, they specially tailor the retreats to each individual.
Where do retreats take place? Various locations.
Who is it for? Servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
What can you expect? GratitudeAmerica’s mission is to provide restorative retreats to participants affected by deployment exposures. GratitudeAmerica Military Support Retreats are a breakthrough, four day immersive, and intensive experience. They design retreats to help combat veterans and their supporters make peace with their past.
Where do retreats take place? Various locations in Florida.
Who is it for? Vets recovering from stress-related challenges, and their spouses or partners.
What can you expect? These healing retreats provide participants with instruction and practice in self-regulation techniques. Veterans Yoga Project offers opportunities for engaging in various therapeutic social activities. Also, they provide guidance on healthy lifestyle choices, and education about the role of nutrition in recovery and resilience. Additionally, they raise awareness of community-based veterans resources for post-retreat reintegration.
Where do retreats take place? Various locations.
Who is it for? Veterans with PTS or MST, and close family members.
What can you expect? The Warrior Connection (TWC) provides residential retreats and services to Veterans and their families to heal the invisible injuries incurred while in uniform. All TWC programs and services are open to Veterans of all eras. The Warrior Connection will arrange free travel from all 50 states. TWC provides separate retreats to male service members, female service members, and the spouses or close family members of service members with PTS.
Where do retreats take place? Brattleboro, VT.
Who is it for? Wounded and injured servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
What can you expect? Operation Heal Our Patriots is a project of Samaritan’s Purse designed to strengthen the marriages of wounded and injured members of the U.S. military. The project includes a weeklong wilderness retreat at Samaritan Lodge Alaska. These retreats provide physical and spiritual renewal to participants. With picturesque scenery, individual cabins for couples, and dedicated staff, couples are allowed to escape the pressures of home and focus on renewing their marriages. During the week, they participate in Biblically-based marriage enrichment classes, devotions, and recreational activities. Activites range from bear watching to fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
Where do retreats take place? Port Alsworth, AK
Who is it for? Recently deployed servicemembers and their families.
What can you expect? Sandy Cove’s Operation Oasis ministry was designed to help military families reconnect following the long and challenging separation caused by war. There are various retreats to choose from, including a five-night family camp vacation, a valentine couples getaway, a fall couple’s weekend, or a two-night getaway.
Where do retreats take place? North East, MD
Who is it for? Combat veterans and their families.
What can you expect? Project New Hope fosters family togetherness through a wilderness getaway. They provide combat veterans and their families with the education, training, and skills necessary to manage their lives after wartime service. The repair of relationships is a primary goal. And of course, to have fun in the process!
Where do retreats take place? Various locations.
Who is it for? Any veteran who has served in a combat zone with an honorable discharge.
What can you expect? Warrior Expeditions provides veterans with everything required to complete a long-distance outdoor expedition at no cost to the veteran. They outfit veterans with some of the most highly rated equipment, clothing, and supplies available from the outdoor retail industry. Warrior Expeditions provides gear and skills training needed to successfully complete the expedition and shadows veterans during the first leg of their journey to answer questions and troubleshoot issues. Participants will receive support in the forms of transportation, lodging, and food from community supporters located along the trail. Available expeditions include a Warrior Hike, Warrior Bike, and Warrior Paddle.
Where do retreats take place? Hikes: The Appalachian Trail (GA – ME), The Arizona Trail (AZ), The Buckeye Trail (OH), The Continental Divide Trail (NM – MT), The Florida Trail (FL), The Ice Age Trail (WI), The Mountain to Sea Trail (NC), The Pacific Crest Trail (CA – WA). Bike: The Great American Rail Trail (DC – WA). Paddle: Mississippi River (MN – LA).
Who is it for? Veterans, active duty military, reservists, and their significant others who have been diagnosed with PTS.
What can you expect? National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center provides week-long retreats that offer traditional and non-traditional healing methods. Throughout the week, there is a mix of Native American healing ceremonies, equine reintegration training, various alternative therapies, and couples and group counseling sessions. The natural setting of Angel Fire in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the perfect location to bring couples to a place where nature can assist with the healing process.
Where do retreats take place? Angel Fire, NM.
Who is it for? Wounded, injured, and ill veterans and service members with a 70% or higher V.A. rating, and their families.
What can you expect? Operation Second Chance (OSC) offers a variety of retreats depending on the individual’s injuries and their ability to getaway. They provide short local overnight trips to those who need a quick getaway but cannot travel far. They also provide longer retreats for those who are further in their recovery and can get away for more extended periods. During the retreats, they offer many different activities for the individuals to choose from and allow wounded veterans and their families to rest, relax, and complete activities on their own.
Where do retreats take place? Varies.
Who is it for? Active or former military veterans and/or first responders who are struggling with PTS.
What can you expect? Save a Warrior (SAW) provides counseling services in the fields of mental health and wellness, suicide prevention, and PTS to participants. SAW provides an alternative, warrior-led, holistic service. Participants walk away equiped with a community of support, and effective techniques to overcome the symptoms associated with PTS and suicidal ideations.
Where do retreats take place? California and Ohio.
Who is it for? All active-duty service members, and veterans, and their families.
What can you expect? A nationally recognized facility, Wilwin at Cygnet Cove sits on 1183 acres in a peaceful wooded arena in Michigan. Wilwin is a place for hope and healing, recovery and renewal, education and inspiration, sharing, and support. Available activities and amenities include wildlife watching, fishing on the 65-acre spring-fed lake, a pontoon, paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, board games, picnics, BBQ cookouts, hiking, golf cart driving and bicycling.
Where do retreats take place? Custer, MI.
A BONUS RETREAT FOR CAREGIVERS
Who is it for? Caregivers of wounded service members.
What can you expect? Hearts of Valor is a network of caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured service members. Through empathy and mutual understanding, Operation Homefront created this community of support for those whose lives are forever changed by the wounds of war, seen and unseen. They offer retreats throughout the year in cities around the United States. There is no cost to attend, and it’s an opportunity to come together and gain additional tools for successful caregiving.
Where do retreats take place? Varies across the U.S.
Well, there you have it. Twenty + one retreats for veterans, active-duty military, and their families and caregivers. Which would you like to try? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know if you apply, and if you get chosen to go.
If there is a retreat that you know of that I left out, let me know. Maybe we’ll do another retreat roundup in the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.
ABOUT VISION TO PURPOSE
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