This weekend (November 1-4) was the first veteran oriented retreat I've ever attended. I had been apprehensive about these types of events in the past. However, from the very beginning of the application process, the coordinating staff were very informative, enthusiastic, polite, and accommodating. When we arrived the staff were very friendly and down to earth. They encouraged all of us to commit and enjoy what they had to offer and they did not disappoint. There was no obligation to open yourself up and share your feelings, but they had a way of making you comfortable enough to do so. I believe this is essential to make progress in the healing process. The events were fun. The food was great, and again, the staff was fantastic. Last, and definitely not least, we met the founders. You will never meet a more genuine and patriotic couple who truly want to give back to the veteran community. I am grateful for having the chance to experience what Gratitude America has to offer and I would recommend it to any and all veterans and their caregivers.
My husband Scotty and I were just there for the Amelia Island Beach retreat. I can't say enough how much we learned from the team. Mike, Anne, Tracy, Dillan, Mike, Abbie, Ashley, George, Jack, & the interns...probably forgot several of the members but they were so helpful in a time that was needed in our life. Lewis and Jonie joined us on the River Cruise of historic Amelia Island and it was a delight. Every aspect of the retreat was planned wonderfully. We were able to connect with so many like minded veterans it made a lasting impact to lead to long friendships. We hope to be able to meet up with everyone again. THank you so much for supporting those who need it most.
My wife and I attended our first retreat at Marineland in April. We were asked to come back for the June retreat in Georgia as the senior couple. I can honestly say we both think Gratitude America has saved our marriage. We have been through several deployments together and have grown apart. I had recently told her I felt like she was my roommate. Gratitude America showed us two things. One was a much better way to communicate and understand each other. Two was that we are still a family even when our kids are not around. The mixture between classroom and outside activities is exactly what we needed. Since then we have gone back to visit a few places we did our activity that. We have also volunteered at one of the Gratitude America 5K races. We are so excited to try the family retreat in November. I have spoken with many of my veteran friends and have urged them to look into going to a retreat.
Pat and I attended the very first Marineland Retreat. It was amazing and very eye opening. It was great for Pat to talk with other vets and understand that he is not alone in his battle with PTSD. Joni and Jordan Lewis are the most compassionate and kind people I had met in a long time. Their story of "why" this organization and mission is exceptional. The outpouring of community support is amazing! We try to help with support whenever possible. This is truly a nonprofit organization and its adminisyators are honestly strictly volunteer. We hope to see it grow and help so many more veterans.
I can’t say enough good things about this organization and the retreat we attended this past weekend in Stone Mountain, GA. Their mission is awesome and you can tell that they really care and put an enormous amount of effort into helping veterans and their support person heal. The organizers and facilitators were awesome and made coming to this retreat fun and exciting, even though it was physically and emotionally hard at times. I would and have recommended this organization and their retreats to many veterans in need already. Thank you for all you do Gratitude America to support veterans and their families!