Retreats for Wounded Warriors Enhance Well-Being

Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2001. She has spent over ...Read More

When we hear the word “retreat,” we often think of companies taking their employees away from the workplace for a day to re-envision and regroup, or we think of a 3-day getaway to a luxury spa. But retreats can be much more than these things.

For some, retreats can be an escape from the stresses of daily life. They can be re-energizing and nourishing to the body and soul. And for servicemen and women who have experienced physical and emotional wounds during deployments, retreats offer a time to heal.

I recently read about the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors in Bluemont, Virginia. Here, wounded service members and veterans, along with their families, can spend up to two weeks in one of four fully accessible, private cabins on 37 acres of beautiful woodlands.

This is a non-profit organization that has done an amazing job of raising funds to support its mission. In fact, they’ve done such a fantastic job that there is no fee for staying at the retreat, unless the families elect to participate in off-site recreational activities. Meals are not included, but each cabin has a full kitchen stocked with utensils to prepare any food brought by families.

Boulder Crest offers unstructured retreats for families that simply want to relax and be free of any schedules; it also offers structured retreats that include therapy and specific programs for service members who have attempted suicide or experienced sexual assault.

When I read about this, it sounded like such a great idea that I wondered why no one had done it sooner. A quick web search turned up several other organizations that offer retreats of some kind. Keep in mind that each organization offers something a little different, and it’s important to explore their offerings as well as costs and other requirements. Also, please note that listing an organization does not equal an endorsement.

I applaud Boulder Crest and the rest of these organizations for offering such a valuable service to our nation’s military families. If you know of other retreats, or if you’ve been to one, please share your experiences here.


Gibson, C. (December 9, 2013). Giving wounded warriors respite: Log cabins in Virginia foothills offer quiet sanctuary for those bearing psychological and physical scars. Chicago Tribune (Online Kindle edition).

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