I came to the Veteran's Path when I think I was at my lowest point in my life. After serving the Air Force as a female cop I felt like my life had taken a huge toll in the wrong direction. I wouldn't look up from the ground much. I had a brick wall in front of all my emotions. The military taught me well to stuff them and not show the weakness that emotions are. But this was making it so I wasn't myself anymore. I pushed people away when I needed them most. It was the Veterans PATH that gave me the strength to brake down the walls. Face the challenges I was faced with everyday in a loving kindness way. The anger inside me began to lift. I started to feel again. Now that I have been fortunate enough to have been envolved in their programs for four years, I have grown so much. I know that I can be real and authentic. I am more in touch with my body and emotional self to handle all that life throws at me. I only see myself getting better everyday with the skills I have learned with Veteran's Path. I
Veteran's Path is such a great resource for Veterans. It's a nice way to meet new people, relax, and learn positive coping skills for the many emotional challenges that some of us may face. They are eager to ensure participation by helping to provide transportation to events along with hosting all events free of charge to veterans and one guest per veteran. I had so much fun doing activities I've never done like tandem cycling, kayaking, and meditating. Plan on attending another event soon!
Caring, compassion and community. This sums up (for me) where the greatness lies in this amazing organization. I am a Veteran and also a certified therapist so I originally went to see how I could participate and support my fellow veterans. Along the way I found self healing that I wasn't aware I needed. They helped me get back into my mindfulness practice and exposed me to more beneficial techniques. They are supportive and allow you to discover what you need from the program.
I came to Veterans Path very sceptical of what meditation and mindfulness could actually do for me. I had been through some meditation with counselors in the past and just thought "well maybe I'm just not the right person for that type of thing, it's only for hippies". I work in the health and fitness industry and recently have been exploring more of a wellness approach to life and in working with my demons. I served two combat tours as an infantry machinegunner in the Marine Corps and suffer PTS and TBI along with other disabilities. I got to a point where I thought there's gotta be a better way than what I'm doing now!
I went to my first one day with quite a bit of anxiety and uncertainty. But I allowed myself to be open because of my interactions before with the vet leaders and facilitators that invited me. By the end of the event I felt that camaraderie I had lost when I left the corps. I had a warmth and energy I hadn't had in so long. Sincevthat first retreat I have been back to each event, learning and growing and developing a love for not only healing myself but also paying it forward to help veterans suffering like me. I can't necessarily say Veterans Path saved my life, but it most certainly is healing my soul!
The leadership at this organization has an astounding and evident care for the veterans served by their transformational work. This desire to serve and help those who fought for freedom is evident through their programs which are crafted using evidence-based techniques and built to help each person work through his/her unique journey to find a new PATH following service.
The organization is transparent whether with financials or sharing their vision. Veteran's PATH uses approaches which are not readily available and augment existing programs through other government and non-governmental agencies. Their desire for collaboration is based out of a genuine desire to stay true to their mission to serve more veterans. Their work has already produced successes, which are embodied in the spirit, heart, and life of renewed veterans.
This organization is a jewel, and as they expand their footprint, individual lives will not only be changed; but family and community and societal lives as well. I have enjoyed my experience with Veteran's PATH and would recommend this organization to veterans, donors, volunteers and anyone who has a need, a dollar or a heart.
My first experience with Veterans Path was a 5-day retreat. I was not the happiest person when the retreat started. I was very angry and sad. With the emotions I had, I was still accepted by the leaders. The meditation, mindfulness exercises, and comraderie was what I needed at that moment. Each veterans path event I feel like I continue to grow and am aware of my emotions. This is a great organization. My life has changed because of it.
Veteran's Path has been a transformational experience for me. The leaders, facilitators, and camaraderie have made each retreat I've attended quite memorable and practically life saving. It only took a one-day retreat for me to take this journey with Veteran's Path to another level- my first experience of transcendental meditation, mindfulness based training and sensory awareness with Veteran' Path has forever changed my perspective on living, breathing and being fully alive. The tools I've learned from this organization will forever guide me in my healing process and I will forever be grateful. I've learned to value myself, respect myself and take care of myself in ways that I never knew I can do. Veteran's Path helped me wake up, so to speak. And I hope this organization will continue to grow and spread the seeds of love, gratitude and the meaning of what it means to be here and be fully present in all that we do. Thank you, VP. With love, CJA
I've attended veterans path on two separate occasions. Chris and Lee were so patient and comforting. I truly enjoyed the calmness in the environment. This helped me with my anxiety and my PTSD symptoms. If I lived closer I would have attended a lot more events. But with a 1.5 hour commute, my only wish is that there was a veterans path closer to me.
Veteran' PATH has helped me tremendously. I'm so glad that they have something for women veterans. By them teaching me meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing, I'm able to use these techniques practically everyday. I'm able to use the handouts and books they provide and even call and speak to staff when I need. And they keep in touch with you.
Veteran's Path has provided me with a community of veterans who are willing to walk through difficulty together. This has meant that when things were light and upbeat in my own life I had the opportunity to support others in my community, purpose. It has also meant that when I am low I have friends to call and visit to get out of my own head. I can't help but notice that I am learning a deeper type of friendship through this organization. Beyond this, Veteran's Path has nurtured me to be able to accept the difficult truths of my life and begin to adjust and care for my life in a way to make it both healthy and uniquely mine. This has been accomplished both through mindfulness techniques and having the opportunity to take the time out of a busy life to ask, what am I doing with this precious life? And, making real connections with those in my community because we actually share about the difficulties and triumphs in our lives.
These somewhat heavy ideas are balanced with hikes, Frisbee, water rafting, climbing, etc. that bring a light hearted togetherness and sense of comraderie that so many vets, including myself, long for after their service has ended. We remember how to laugh together.
I cannot say enough about the founders. They have never criticized or told me what I should be doing, but constantly point back to the part of me that understands goodness so that I can be my own guide. While busy, they have both always been available, even outside of events, to connect.
Veteran's PATH has now become part of my live.
One out standing element that sets this organization apart from others is they are there for you and they continue to be there for you. Many organizations provide services once and that is the end of it. This is not the case with Veteran’s PATH, they encourage and welcome you to come and join them often.
The love and compassion these people have are tremendous.
I am extremely thankful for what Veteran’s PATH offers and for what they have brought into my life. I honestly look forward to each and every event I am able to attend. I come home feeling nourished and loved.
I am a women veteran that served over 11 years in the Army and Army National Guard, over 20 years ago.
I did not consider myself a veteran and never spoke of my experiences while in service much. I did not trust the VA and carried many scares; I was suffering in silence, as so many others have expressed it. This has been quite a long journey, thankfully one I do not have to walk alone any longer.
I appreciate and have tremendous gratitude for Veteran’s PATH and because of this organization I have a much brighter future.
Veterans Path has helped me to realize the power of a breath. The way in which they lead you through meditation is both gentle and concise. Mindfulness and sensory awareness has never felt more accessible to me and for that I'm truly thankful. The tools being provided have helped me through some turbulent times.
I am a Veteran who served for 28 years on Active Duty at home and in numerous deployed locations. I’ve always been interested in the power of resiliency and mindfulness in our day to day lives in very purposeful, powerful service to our Nation. The gifts, skills and tools that Veteran’s PATH brings to us is transforming; the journey with them truly brings peace, acceptance, transformation and honor as we return into our communities. I want to see these gifts reach more and more Veterans.
This organization is very helpful and effective. Just in the short time I have had with Veterans Path, I am already learning things about mindfulness and meditation. The people that work in this organization are so nice and calming. You feel welcomed and accepted the second you walk in.
Veteran's PATH has been a true blessing to my life. Before VP I was numb, walking around this world, merely existing. Now, I feel like I've regained my purpose and I'm living and creating the life that has been meant for me! I owe Chris and Lee a big debt for creating and puttting their heart and souls into this organization. My wish is to repay them with my service and life example of their teaching!
VP had been a truly life changing organization to be apart of. The programs and leadership have given me real world tools to help with navigating life as a civilian. Midfulness, meditation and other tools given have become a staple in my life.
There are certain things that come into one's life that immediately make a life changing impact. Veteran's Path instantly did that for me and I am very grateful. As a infantry veteran who has struggled with PTSD, survivors guilt, and alcoholism I moved myself to San Francisco to make a change and deepen my spiritual practice. Once here I embraced recovery and decided to connect with other veterans. When I found out about a retreat to Green Gulch Farm with Veteran's Path I signed up and felt it would be great for the soul. I wasn't wrong to say the least. Learning mindfulness/meditation techniques with Chris and Lee, and just being in their positive presence, has been one of the best experiences of my life. Sharing the experience with a great group of other veterans is invaluable. I'm learning how to slow down and look at myself and the world more honestly with less judgment. Meditating on a regular basis has increased both happiness and focus in my life. Getting trained to teach mindfulness to other vets in need has given me a renewed since of purpose and I look forward sharing what I learn. Veteran's Path is a game changer and I'm going to do my best to bring in as many vets as possible so they can reap the rewards as well.
Veterans PATH has helped me with arguably the most important transition of my life. Helping me reestablish some semblance of peace in a world that only increases in chaos. Without VP and especially Chris/Lee I'm not sure if I ever would have found the ground that has always existed right underneath me. Forever greatful.
All of my experiences with Veteran's PATH have been overwhelmingly positive. Lee and Chris create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I feel comfortable to be myself and enjoy the camaraderie of other veterans. The tools of meditation and mindfulness that I've learned have helped me navigate difficult times in my life in a more positive way. In addition, we get to have fun together, like rock climbing or hiking during a one-day event, or white water rafting on the river trip.
Veterans often become skeptical after exploring organizations that claim to help us. Some veteran-oriented charities turn out to be schemes to financially exploit public sentiment without distributing much to veterans.
Others start with a promising premise but become egotistically entrenched, with clique-ishness & favoritism that often isolates veterans & causes disillusionment.
Then, there are the ones that show off a façade of caring for veterans, yet within their programs, away from public scrutiny, their personnel inflict dignity-robbing attitudes on participants. In my experience, Veterans PATH is better than those three categories of disappointing phenomena. Positive, quality of life changes are the result - again, in my personal experience, as well as numerous other veterans' experience.
Whenever I went on a retreat, I'd get all nervous about being out with these strangers for three or more days and would want to leave before we hit the water river rafting.
Lee, one of the founders would insist that I stay and I did. I didn't regret it. I had met some good people on the three retreats I went to. I loved the sensory awareness practices which really gave me a chance to feel at peace.
I would recommend Veteran's Path to any veteran from the Gulf War Era or the OIF/OEF/OND era.