The 2015 Operation Purple Program is well on its way - with only one Healing Adventures left for this year. We've had tremendous successes in Parkton, North Carolina; Dingman's Ferry, Pennsylvania; and Bainbridge Island, Washington. Our final retreat of the year will be held at Camp Rockfish in North Carolina.
Many of the wounded are not able to enjoy some of the activities they previously shared with their families. We've been able to help them rebuild family bonds, establish new roles and responsibilities depending on the service members' injuries, and explore new activities to enjoy together moving forward.
Parents and kids have gone fishing, hiking, canoeing, explored the outdoors. Parents are also given the opportunity to relax and enjoy quiet time together while their children participate with other children in activities supervised by accredited site staff.
Each Retreat also includes structured activities that have been carefully designed to support resiliency-building, communication, and parenting skills. These activities are developed and facilitated onsite by FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress™) consultants. In addition, licensed mental health professionals attend each Retreat to provide support to parents and/or kids that may need an extra ear to speak to when discussing their family’s challenges.
For an in-depth look at one of the Retreats, check out "Surviving Doesn't Happen Alone" (linked below). Thank you for helping these military family members feel like they're not alone!
By Caroline Rasmus | Donor Relations & Special Events Manager
I wanted to share with you a very special video highlighting the Operation Purple Program of the National Military Family Association. It shows how we bring military families closer together at locations like Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming - and it's all thanks to donors like you! Your funds help to ensure that these families return home strong and resilient. But don't take our word for it - you can hear from the families themselves in the video below.
We would also like to thank Discovery Communications, one of our generous sponsors and the creators of this beautiful video!
Thank you again to those of you who have supported this campaign and for all that you do to support military families!
By Caroline Rasmus | Donor Relations and Special Events Manager
Dad and daughter at a Retreat
Military families are experiencing unprecedented separation. Although the service member is the one exposed to hostile environments, his or her children bear the stress of uncertainty – when the separation will end, whether their parent is safe, and whether mom or dad is going to come home “the same.”
Each year the wars are extended, the need grows to expand effective programs that help the children who are healthy remain healthy – and to strengthen those who are weakening under the prolonged strain.
Our Solution: Operation Purple Healing Adventures
As difficult as the absence of a service member may be, rejoining their families – particularly for wounded warriors -- may be equally or more challenging. Our Operation Purple program hosts retreats focused on families trying to reconnect after living in different worlds for long periods during war. After repeated separations, many service members struggle to readjust smoothly at home and reestablish a parenting role with rapidly-growing children and spouses who worked hard to successfully adapt to life without them.
Many of the wounded are not able to enjoy some of the activities they previously shared with their families. Our retreats are designed to help them rebuild family bonds, establish new roles and responsibilities depending on the service members' injuries, and explore new activities to enjoy together moving forward.
But don't take our word for it - here's a note we received from a family who attended one of our Healing Adventures on Bainbridge Island in Washington:
"We just wanted to send a thank you to you for all your hard work to make an incredible weekend experience of memories and time together as a family at Islandwood on Bainbridge Island, WA. our family has not stopped talking about the people we met and the experiences we had together. In the last 30 months, my husband has only been home 9 months. We have not had the time together without distractions like we were able to have at Islandwood. Thank you for all of your fundraising efforts, planning, coordinating, and other unseen behind th scenes work. We truly enjoyed everything about the weekend and our Dad-Marine was grateful to be able to share his spinal injury with 2 others there with the same type of injury and experiences. I think he felt more validated in the pain and things he experiences."
Your dollars will help make more of these retreats happen in 2015. Thank you for your support!
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