Military, Veterans and their Families
Soldier's Heart Program
Since closing our non-profit Soldier's Heart in 2019, we continue our work with veterans, military communities, and their families, at home and internationally, privately as well as through the national organization Freedom Alliance and the California non-profit Mil-Tree.
Through our Soldier’s Heart program, we offer genuine homecoming, reintegration, and a path for post-traumatic growth and spiritual development and address the emotional, spiritual and moral needs of veterans, their families and communities. Using a unique and comprehensive model of healing, our goal is to transform PTSD by developing a new and honorable warrior identity.
We also promote, train and guide community-based efforts to heal the effects of war. We empower and equip families, care providers, individuals, and communities to support our troops and veterans as they work to establish new identities.
We have developed a proven holistic, community-based, psycho-spiritual-cross-cultural method of healing military PTSD that goes beyond conventional treatment methods. Our methods incorporate what we have learned from intensive study and experience of world-wide spiritual traditions, indigenous cultures, mythology, and warrior traditions. Countless veterans and members of the military have experienced significant and lasting healing after working with us. They realize they are not not alone in their PTS experiences and can find support and understanding from ordinary "civilians."
Thousands of chaplains and behavioral health professionals from the U.S. Army, Air Force, National Guard, and Special Operations forces have received training from our Soldier's Heart program.
We have been serving our military, veterans, and their families since the end of the 12-year long Vietnam War. Now with the end of the 20-year Afghanistan War, this community, the war refugees, and our nation are all in deepened crises. Whether they feel that this end was right or wrong, many are in anger, heartbreak, and despair. They feel betrayed and wonder if all the sacrifices were worth the results. These are conditions that lead to elevated trauma rates among troops and veterans, re-traumatizing older veterans and survivors of past wars, elevated suicide threats and rates, and deep confusion about our country and its direction for us all. We have been assisting our warriors and families in healing and making meaning from these conditions for decades. We are available to assist any struggling now.
We offer retreats that create a safe place for veterans and active-duty servicemen and women to share their military experiences. Our 4 day intensive retreats include veterans, their family members and other supportive community members.
We do not consider PTSD to be a mental disorder. Instead, we believe it is a normal reaction to a traumatic experience. It is the expression of anguish, dislocation, and rage of the self as it attempts to cope with its loss of innocence and reformulate a new personal identity.
We seek to show modern warriors that what we commonly refer to as PTSD or “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” is a normal and natural response to the military experience. It is not a pathology or a disease to be treated, but rather one part of a larger path that a warrior must follow. We help soldiers follow their calling through the many steps of the path of a warrior
Soldier's Heart Retreats:
At our Soldier’s Heart retreats, you have an opportunity to face the dark times in your military service in the company of the community in whose name you acted. Looking straight at the past may help restore your hope in the future.
Soldier’s Heart retreats create places where you can share your stories safely. And, our retreats help society accept its responsibility for your actions.
At our retreats, we will:
listen to you deeply
tend to you lovingly
honor your truths
share your burden
Most of our retreats are for both men and women. This provides the opportunity for the whole community to learn from and grow with each other. We also offer specialized retreats for women veterans and those with Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
Civilians attend our retreats in order to listen to and learn from our veterans. As Sacred Witnesses, they are honored to hear the true stories and to share the hard-earned knowledge of the best and worst of human nature.
Soldier's Heart retreats restore warriors and their communities by providing veterans, service members, family members, helping professionals and caring community members a safe space to learn and practice ways of successful homecoming and healing from war and military service.
For Family Members
The stories of military families are inspiring and moving, yet they are troubling models of how much sacrifice our service members’ loved ones endure, usually silently and unseen. Like our veterans, they often feel isolated, ignored and marginalized by their communities. They sense that others don’t understand or don’t care about what their lives are like.
Since 2012, Kate has offered retreats and teleconference support groups for military family members and loved ones. Participants have shared deep revelations of the everyday lives and struggles of people who love an active duty service member and/or a veteran who suffers from visible and invisible wounds. They have graciously shared their experiences and feelings as well as the many ways their lives are different from others in the general public.
“My enemy is one whose story I have not yet heard.”