Fallen Warriors Foundation

Rating: 4.86 stars   21 reviews

Issues: Philanthropy

Location: 333 State St 241 Lake Oswego OR 97034 USA

Mission: The mission of the Fallen Warriors Foundation is to help heal the wounds of war and to honor the sacrifices of American soldiers.  Basically our dollars are spent in copying, mailing, distributing flyers, mailbox, costs associated with travel expenses of the retreat facilitator and his assistant, retreat center fees, food, transportation and scholarships for those who wish to attend but have no money.  In addition, we make an annual donation to the retreat leader for his teachings for which he does not charge as he is a mendicant monk. Please visit our website: http:/www.fallenwarriorsfoundation.com You can find videos there as well on the right side of the page. Just click Media! History: When I was 18 I carried a machine gun and fought as a Marine in the Vietnam War. When I came home the country had exploded with the anti-war movement and I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I tried many things to ease this illness but healing did not come for decades. Writing helped, but traveling back to Vietnam, to my original point of pain was critically important. Thus, the Fallen Warriors Foundation grew out of a trip my wife and I and our two children made to Vietnam in 1993. My wife felt that if I carried medical and educational supplies and toys I could replace some of my muscle memories and other thoughts associated with my tour as a Marine. We carried these supplies and donations and they helped replace the thoughts of carrying a machine gun and killing enemy soldiers. I followed that trip up with several more to Vietnam. Each trip consisted of carrying medical supplies. One year we took back a group of Vietnam Veterans who also carried donations. We took them to their former battlefields on a mission of healing. Then we led a group of doctors and nurses to Vietnam to help provide care to the poorest villages. Over the years Fallen Warriors Foundations has delivered ton's of donations of medical supplies such as kidney dialyses machines and computers and other critical supplies. We built a clean water system to deliver fresh water to a village than had none. We donated funds for students to attend school and even sponsored a Vietnamese student to come to the US to study, at a time when it was very difficult to leave Vietnam. We have held annual retreats for the past fifteen years for veterans and their loved ones and have put on special events such "Feasts for Peace", where veterans and former war protesters meet to reconcile. We staged theater presentations and have written articles on remembering veterans that have been published in newspapers across the country. We have been active in working with incarcerated veterans by creating a speakers buereau, lecture on ways to deal with PTSD, such as setting up meditation programs. We have also provided small stipends for veterans when they transition out of prison back into the community. Jack Estes, President and co-founder.
Results: Helping numerous Veterans and families soothe the effects of PTSD symptoms.
Target demographics: Veterans and their family members.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Annual impact on hundreds of people.
Geographic areas served: US
Programs: Annual Fallen Warriors retreat, and hopefully more retreats in various locations throught the year if enough funding is received.
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 93-1144474
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

Most corpsmen count the number lost, not the number saved. My number is too high to list, though I have stars that say different. "If Only I'd. . ." still wakes me at night, though the shadows are quieter and going away since I've gotten a couple (not one, you can trust two maube, not one, so I have three) good dogs. 3/3 says there's something there -- usually a deer, but you can be ready and not surprised by family or company. Ever, and that's a good thing!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

not yet, doubt I'll need to - just my 2 cents -- looking for a lapel sticker or bumper sticker to alert others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Know enough to not speak until I have had time to experience things in the real (or other) world. Otherwise 5 stars, sounds good, but so did HM quad 0 to 8404 until you did it for a bit! "Corpsman Up!" still wakes me in a thrash at night!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As the wife of a Viet Nam vet, I began to accompany my husband on the annual Fallen Warrior Foundation retreats in 1999 after he had hit the wall struggling to manage his PTSD. He had reached the point of feeling that there were few, if any, options left. After our first experience it became immediately apparent that what we learned was going to be highly beneficial to him, to our family, our marriage, and to me. I have attended 8 of the past 11 retreats. Three with my husband and five after his death several years ago. I return year after year because I, as a "veteran wife," feel the need to support and be supported by a wonderful group of caring and compassionate people. In an era when everything seems to be on double fast forward, it is remarkable how beneficial it is to receive instruction on how to slow down, shut up, sit quietly, breathe...how to create a different relationship with our thoughts and that which sends us spinning. My being a part of this particular veteran community is a privledge. I am honored by the legacy that my husband left to me.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

gaining tools to manage my own drunken monkey chatter.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people and the setting.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Angels and Bodhisatvas

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

in the long run, feasibly bring an end to war. Short term: provide a soft place to fall for every veteran with combat experience.

Ways to make it better...

it had rained only once every hour.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

burn-out for Colleen and Jack.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Although the annual retreat is facilitated by a Viet Nam vet who became a Buddhist monk, this event is IN NO WAY DRIVEN BY RELIGION.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

To whom it may concern, My name is Michael Sills and my father is a Vietnam veteran. I attended the Fallen Warriors retreat because I was having difficulty coming to terms with that relationship. Furthermore, it was an exceptionally difficult time in my life – in short, I had recently survived a bout with cancer, had become disabled and was stagnating. My time at the retreat was very personal and it is difficult for me to write about. However, the experience was, for lack of better words, spiritual: initially painful, then cleansing and, ultimately, healing. It was one of the defining moments in my life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the sense that I have found a deeper level of peace.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I was introduced to the Veterans Retreat organized by the Fallen Warriors Foundation by my counselor at the Tacoma, WA Vet Center (a prior attendee) in 2003. I have missed only one retreat since due to scheduling problems. The meditation practice lead by Claude-Anshin Thomas has made a major difference in my ability to function with my Vietnam combat induced PTSD. My wife has attended two retreats as well and it made a positive difference in our relationship. I have actively promoted the retreat among my acquaintences and last year intoduced it to two new Vet Center counselors, who plan to go back as well. Colleen and Jack have for years carried this project on their backs and are two of the most straightforward, emotionally honest, and compassionate people I have ever met.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help bring peace and healing to thousands who have been traumatized by war and other violence.

Ways to make it better...

I was better situated to provide more direct assistance to Colleen and Jack myself.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funds to bring their programs to a larger regional or national audience of veterans.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have attended the Fallen Wariors Retreat at least 5 or 6 times, starting in 1998, when I first was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of my year as a nurse in Viet Nam in 1970-71. Each and every time I have attended, the 4 days have been not only 'gut wrenching', and full of tears, but also very healing. I have to say that because of the Fallen Warriors Foundation sponsoring the retreats, I am still here today, a survivor, and at PEACE with my war experience

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

sponsor many more suffering Veterens, to start on the road to recovery and self forgiveness

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-6-01

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have attended meditation retreats that were organized by Fallen Warriors Foundation. Not only have the retreats been very beneficial toward my own personal military experiences and their manifestation in my life today, my family and friends have benefited as well. Because Fallen Warriors have taken the risk of securing a retreat site without a financial commitment from the Veterans attending, I was able to benefit. I see how difficult it is to host the retreat when there are so many Veterans and their friends and families deciding to attend at the last minute. In addition, I received financial assistance for a partial scholarship to attend the retreat.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it brings together Veterans in a safe environment and I always leave the group with a tremendous sense of peace.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Dear Fallen Warriors Foundation, I am happy to recommend the Fallen Warriors Foundation as a not-for-profit organization helping veterans. The Fallen Warriors Retreat I attended was a benefit to me in many ways. As a combat veteran of Vietnam era, I was highly motivated in seeking help to understand what I had experienced in combat. I can't say it was a particular therapy or the leader that gave me a sense of safety, but a sharing of experiences with other veterans and learning to listen to them, changed me. I would give Fallen Warriors Foundation a 5 of 5 stars on any chart. I would attend again. I'm impressed enough with what the Fallen Warriors Foundation has done for veterans, that we started, (Jan 2010), a version of the Fallen Warriors Retreats here in Gilpin County Colorado. So yes, what Colleen O'Callaghan and Jack Estes have put together is of value and would be a big hole for many veterans if it were not available. Sincerely, Deni Darby Gilpin County Veterans Service Officer 2960 Dory Hill Rd. Suite 100 Black Hawk, Colorado 80422 (303) 582-5444 ex 1103

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Fallen Warriors Retreat I attended in 2007. This single retreat set in motion a series of events to bring about a not-for-profit Veteran's Resource Centre in Central City Colorado.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

That they exist, without their efforts so many lives would not have been touched.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind friendly, inviting and created a safe place to open up to and within.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do a lot more for the veterans, and we need them.

Ways to make it better...

Can't say anything really, I would enjoy returning to the Fallen Warriors Retreat every year and it not cost as much. I know it is difficult to account for such a large group for 4 -5 days.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Getting funding to continue their work and efforts on so many fronts and needs.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-7-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am a disabled veteran of the Vietnam conflict and was diagnosed with PTSD in late 2000. After about a year of therapy my therapist told me of the Fallen Warriors retreat and suggested that I might find it useful. After much trepidation I attended my first of 8 or 9 retreats facilitated by Claude An Shin Thomas. The impact that these retreats have had upon me are beyond measure. The combination of quiet meditation and deep listening and thoughtful reflection help cut through the blockages that separate us from our true reality.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

greater ability to be at ease with my uneasiness.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage them to make more use of volunteers and utilize a media person to spread the word to increase participation. Other Veterans that I meet have no idea this organization exists.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The camaraderie and sharing with people of similar experience, and the experience of deepening my understanding of and application of various meditation techniques as they pertain to everyday living.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

beyond reproach. All involved are unfailingly supportive and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Buy it's own damn retreat facility.

Ways to make it better...

we had a few more days.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Focus.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I was having a lot of trouble with nightmares, outbursts of rage, the usual PTSD symptoms. I attended a Fallen Warriors retreat and the work we did, writing, meditating, talking in groups about our experiences, all were a tremendous help to me. They emphasized no particular religion, but there was a Buddhist monk there who'd been a Vietnam veteran. Being able to ask him questions, how he dealt with the really big issues (like killing people), was exceedingly helpful. I came away not cured of PTSD, but confident that I could be, and having a group of people that I could stay in contact with. Very helpful to me.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my perspective on my war experiences and coming to terms with my PTSD.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being able to talk with others like me who have dealt with similar problems in many different ways

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, compassionate, and passionate

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach a lot of men who are self-destructing, help them heal, and get what once were incredibly brave and competent people back on their feet and contributing to the world again

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've attended two meditation retreats hosted by the Fallen Warriors Foundation on Veteran's Day weekend. The retreat is led by two mendicant Zen practitioners and is intended for Veterans and their families. While at this retreat I've met amazing people who have shared their experiences with me, as I have shared mine with them. Without the Fallen Warriors Foundation, I wouldn't have had such an opportunity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how I manage the emotions of living in a family where a family member has undiagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach out in more multi-cultural ways to veterans from many countries.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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