Target: Ken Falke, founder of the Boulder Crest Retreat
Goal: Applaud this unique resource helping active duty service members, veterans and their families heal the often-invisible wounds of war
Service members returning from combat must often cope with post-traumatic stress, brain injuries, amputations and other lingering impacts from their time at war. Loved ones are often deeply affected as well, and readjustment to civilian life can take time and patience. Virginia’s Boulder Crest Retreat has provided life-changing sanctuary for hundreds of veterans, active duty military personnel and their families, making that hard transition a little easier.
While most veterans are able to adjust within a few months of returning home, for others the horrors of war have scarred more deeply. Traditional therapy can take months or even years to show results. In contrast, those attending this week-long retreat can help care for horses as a part of equine therapy, engage in meditation and journaling, make art or receive acupuncture. Dedicated fundraising keeps the retreat free for all participants.
Working with horses is known to help build trust while treating a variety of issues such as depression and anxiety. The animals’ social behavior is similar to humans’ in many ways, and it is often easier for survivors of intense trauma to relax around horses than around other people. “The problem is that our system is broken. Our soldiers don’t have any sort of facilitation to ease back into society after war,” explains Ken Falke, founder of the retreat. “The whole concept of Boulder Crest is to get veterans…to leave their burdens there, and walk out with a new sense of purpose.”
Applaud the dedicated team at the Boulder Crest Retreat for helping heal the deep mental, emotional and physical wounds of war.
Dear Mr. Falke,
The Boulder Crest Retreat has provided powerful healing for hundreds of military service personnel, veterans and their families. Creating a safe environment where people can process complex and painful memories is a tremendous gift to America’s wounded warriors. Your work has even inspired others to create similar retreats, increasing opportunities for this important healing.
Whether gardening, walking the wooded grounds or caring for the retreat’s horses participants have the chance to step out of the shadow of war. As a veteran yourself, you understand better than most just how precious that sanctuary can be. Thank you for creating this incredible place, and for keeping it free for those in need.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Didier.tresse via Wikimedia Commons