The impacts of war on our veterans and their families are great. Even during peace time, grueling training exercises and long periods away from loved ones can have far reaching consequences. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects millions of American veterans and their families. The stress resulting from wartime trauma is too great to bear for many.
That’s where the Starfish Foundation comes in. Through its Healing Warrior Hearts program, the Starfish Foundation helps veterans and their families rebuild their struggling relationships. Weekend retreats hosted by the organization are intended to provide vets with support from other veterans as well as civilian volunteers.
“Veterans will experience a community of support from … people committed and willing to listen to the vets’ stories with compassion and confidentiality and without judgment,” the Starfish Foundation’s website says.
The Milwaukee, Wisc.-based foundation offers these three day retreats at no cost to the veterans and their families. The traumas addressed go far beyond just violence experience on the battlefield.
“Skeptical would be an upgrade to how I felt about another resource that was supposed to help me deal with the hurt and anger related to the sexual trauma I experienced in the military, but thank God I trusted my friend Kim’s recommendation,” one veteran wrote in a review of the organization on GreatNonProfits.org. “Having just a glimpse of how it changed her, more than decades of previous resources had, I decided to give it a chance.”
The reviewer goes on to say how the organization helped her break free from the anger that kept her prisoner for so many years. She was able to rebuild family relationships and now helps other veterans overcome similar challenges.
Another reviewer said the couple’s weekend saved his marriage.
“We were at the end of our marriage with no hope in sight,” the review says. “Where there was no hope we now see hope. I couldn’t recommend this event enough. I’ve told every military couple I know what a wonderful and heart opening experience we had.”
Healing Warrior Hearts was founded by Patricia Clason, fondly known as the Sergeant Major’s Daughter, in 1993. Click here to learn more about the organization or to donate to its cause.