As a vet who served in the 60s, and didn't find Vets Journey Home till the 90s, I thought I had dealt with any issues I had around my time in the military. I was very incorrect in that thought. At the VJH weekend I dealt with five major issues I was carrying around with me and minor ones also. I laid them down there with the help of other vets (staff and participants) and non vet volunteers and it changed my life. It continues to have a powerful positive force in my life and I give thanks to those who helped me through the weekend. I have great gratitude for the folks who continue to help vets on VJH weekends and gratitude for the opportunity to volunteer myself.
For me, "Volunteer" is a key word in describing the Vets Journey Home. The fact that numerous folks have chosen to take time from their lives (family, friends, leisure, hobbies, loved ones, etc.) to help veterans to get home fully, continues to fill me with hope and gratitude.
The miracles I have witnessed on VJH weekends will stay with me all my days.
As Vietnam veteran attending Vet's Journey Home 20 years ago, I was initially guarded, but by the end I felt welcome, safe and finally home. It was the first time since I left the service that I slept without nightmares. It was the beginning of a new life for me without PTS.
Now I volunteer to staff these retreats to give back the love, acceptance, understanding, and support that I received. Every time I staff I heal even more, even as I help heal other veterans.
This program saves lives and families. I am living proof.
- Mitch Tyler
Supporting veterans to recover themselves from the wounds of war provided me great satisfaction. This is a real way to pay back our service men and women for all they have given. The program helped me understand the real price we as a community pay for war and gives me hope for the future. I am proud and honored to have worked with the dedicated and skillful group of volunteers who are the backbone of this program.
This was a life changing weekend for me. It gave me the opportunity to get my self grounded and retake my Journey Home. I liked it so much that I became a Board member, with the intention of helping at a deeper level. As I learn more about the organization, I can't help but to respect and love it even more. This is truly an organization that goes about and behind the expectations formed by Veterans, and for the Veterans. We get to witness miracles every weekend we have.
I am a MST (Military Sexual Trauma) Survivor, Complex PTSD and am a survivor of multiple Life Involved Traumas. I have been on a 30 year Suicide mission; until I met my therapist and went to one of the Retreats, which was hosted by Veterans Journey Home. My therapist and the VA had been trying to get me to agree to group counseling; and until I had experienced the program and processes presented by this Organization I had not a clue of what to expect.
During my weekend, in the retreat (which by the way was completely free of financial cost, or expectation of payment of any sort) my only expense was my time and emotional commitment to the process; which did not come easy. However, during the weekend I crossed so many "Milestones," that I could not even begin to describe.
For years I had not been able to sleep on an elevated surface (bed), or in a room with other people; with the events of the first night and the care, love, compassion, and support of the staff and Instructors, I was able to settle in and found the first night of uninterrupted and uneventful rest/sleep; that I have not had since childhood.
The efforts of everyone and care I received in that retreat in February at the Big Bear, Ca. site, was so attentive and full of support that myself and others who participated in that retreat, formed a bond between all of the participants, staff members and Instructors that I would have never thought was possible between myself and anyone else.
I had no idea of what to expect while I was Enroute to the retreat site. Talking to the person who picked me up, I was told that he was not even going to discuss what the retreat was about or what goes on at the retreat. He explained that it is different for everyone and that everyone gets something unique and different from the experience.
He could not have been more on target with his description; and I will forever be in his debt for his honesty.
When I returned from my weekend with Vet's Journey Home, Everyone around me not iced a huge difference in me; including my therapist was not a VA Provider. She mentioned several times that her job had been made somewhat easier, with the milestones and barriers that the retreat helped me get through.
Since February 2015, The results of my time at the retreat had somewhat came to be recognized not only by people around me, but also by myself. The retreat and the efforts of my Therapist in conjunction with the retreat has unlocked so many facets of my life, and my life has become more fulfilled and manageable that I don't believe that this site would have enough band-width to support the documentation, or recounting of.
All I know is that giving credit to my therapist, I must also give credit to Veterans Journey Home, it's staff, it's Instructors, and it' s processes have literally saved my life. Prior to seeking out and accepting this Organizations assistance, I was begging on a daily basis to stop living. Now, I am finding times that I am celebrating life again. (something else I have not experienced since childhood.)
Thanks Vet's Journey Home!
I have been involved with Vets Journey Home for over 4 years. The program has given me my mission in life, "Helping Our Veterans" . This program helps our veterans deal with PTSD, TBI and the silent scars that happen to our veterans when they serve our great country. I highly recommend this program to ALL VETERANS WHO HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY !
Working with "Vets Journey Home" and the participants has been so rewarding. We allow vets a safe, confidential and non-judgemental opportunity to tell their story and get a release from the guilt, shame, and anger that they have harbored for many years. The difference from their first night to graduation is nothing short of amazing. I give it a 5 star rating. 10 stars would be More appropriate.
This program has helped me a lot with my post deployment issues and post military life. I cannot stress how much this has helped me. So much so, that I have stepped up to be on staff to help other veterans.
Beginning my journey in 2009, with previous VJH Staff, life was still hard. I began to notice change since I went back 2013...with the new and improved VJH STAFF! In less than 2 yrs I have began to live more outside my GI box. Learned to accept and give love to ALL mankind! I have been given such great roll models,GIFTS n knowledge....My family is starting to learn to talk, developed more loving ways to communicate, and accept n love each other in all our differences. HUGE LEAP recently in progress! Thanks to universe n WI -VJH
Vets Journey Home is a super organization! At no charge to veterans, they provide a 3 day intensive therapy to get us back on the road to wholeness. It is life changing and I know of no other opportunity like it.
Vet's Journey Home is family helping family with no judgments, shaming, or hassles. The best thing is it's ALL volunteer without anyone involved making a dime off of the vets. Free help that's actually free, what a concept.
I am a civilian who has twice staffed for Vets Journey Home (once in California and once in Maryland). The organization is the very best of well intentioned people within a caring environment possessing skills that make a difference in welcoming our Veterans home and helping them on their individual path of healing. The Veterans participate at no cost to themselves. The heart of the organization and the work are the caring people--the work that is done borders on the miraculous--I trust that every dollar donated has been and will be used for the benefit of our Veterans.
This is an amazing healing program that starts on a Friday and lasts until Sunday afternoon with a celebration of those who participated in the retreat. It is a free retreat for all service members and veteran to help with the emotional healing that has held them back from being present to family, themselves, or community. The staff are wonderful and assist with what is needed for this healing to take place. I have seen participants who were disconnected from life on Friday become engaged, smiling and sharing hugs on Sunday. Join us or share your resources with this wonderful organization.
I was invited to staff this weekend program by a leader, who said they were in need of women for this healing weekend. I was to represent the women's experience of being receptive and accepting, during a mostly male workshop. I thought I didn't have any connection to the military except one uncle, but wow, was I surprised at what surfaced for me!!! I loved holding space for the healing - the telling of sorrowful, ugly, shameful or proud stories that poured forth.
The transformation I saw through the 2 days and nights was amazing and the network of healing that formed amongst these service people was priceless!
If you are looking for a grass-roots charity to support--look no further. VJH does a great job helping vets and family members feel honored for serving and for sacrifices associated with military service. I have staffed retreats on two occasions now. The attendees have been both male and female vets, and some have served in combat zones, some have not. The "work" that takes place is based on processes designed to help vets deal with problematic life issues--service related or not. The aim here is to be of help as these service men and women navigate life's challenges. Vets attend for free. We welcome your support. In addition to staffing, i have also made financial donations.
My name is Charlie, I'm a vietnam vet, and I was a participant at Northwoods VJH in 2010. That experience changed my life in many ways, but the most important way was that their are thousand of men and women who could benefit from a VJH weekend. I have staffed in 2011,12,and 13 and have witnessed how much participants can change for the better in one weekend. I'm looking forward to staffing again in 2014 to help heal our vets who deserve more than what their getting.
Please join us I'm sure you won't be sorry!!!!
The VJH Experience:
I can honestly say that staffing VJH has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.
I have made many great friends, and have received many gifts.
Every Weekend is challenging, demanding, and ultimately uplifting.
The healing that occurs is of course mainly focused on the participants, and we staffers often benefit in unexpected ways
As long as my health permits, I intend to continue to volunteer my time and energy to this wonderful program!
Thanks for accepting me as a staffer! See you all soon!
After publishing my book, Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, I wanted to donate partial profits to a hands-on group led by dedicated, honest, veterans. I asked several Vietnam veterans for ideas, and the name Vets Journey Home quickly came to the top of the list. I contacted Founder and Director, Gene McMahon, who is also a Certified Instructor and Instructor Trainer. He invited my husband, a Vietnam veteran, to attend as a participant, and me to attend as a staff member. Gene and his trained staff worked with each veteran, collectively and individually. Within hours, the participants had bonded like "a band of brothers," already experiencing changes in their lives. I witnessed nine veterans who arrived in pain from combat experiences heal throughout the weekend. By Sunday night, the terrible burden they had carried, some for decades, others for a few years, was lifted. My decision to support VJH financially and physically was easy. Vets Journey Home puts veterans back together and makes miracles happen.
I have since staffed 5 Vets Journey Home weekends and joined the West Coast board, and I'm totally hooked on this organization. We do so much good, and pick up where the VA and other governmental agencies leave our vets with nothing to sustain them. I've heard several grads of the program say that we provide a family, and it's true. Vets can return to staff weekends and continue their connection with our extended "family," all the while paying it forward and feeling good about themselves and their contributions. This is a nonprofit that is all heart, and it deserves all the support and recognition it can get.
Vets Journey Home has become a new passion in my life. I staffed my first VJH weekend in January of 2011 and fell in love with the program, the participants, the rest of the staff, and the leaders. As a facilitator for similar programs that are not specifically for military vets, I really value that Vets Journey Home provides an essential service, free of charge, to those who have served our country. The sheer magnitude of the healing and transformation that occurs on these retreats is something that has to be seen to be believed.
Vets Journey Home is an honorable welcoming intensive weekend. It was started by a Viet Nam veteran that felt a need to welcome home Viet Nam veterans that had gotten no support from the general population. It has morphed into a multi state organization that has brought home many hundreds of Veterans of all services, that have served in war and peace time. A major benefit is the women that attend these weekends. They are able to tell their story in a very safe container. As an instructor for these weekends, I have seen many hurting veterans find the peace they are looking for and have seen them return to the joy that they so richly deserve!
Vets Journey Home came to early on when it was Bamboo Bridge. I took Bamboo Bridge in 1997 and have been active in what is now Vets Journey Home. In taking the weekend back in '97, I, for the first time in many years was able to tell my story to people that could and would understand. It was, literally, a life changing weekend. That was the weekend that I started my journey home. I had been lost and shut down for a long time.talking abut my 'Nam experience, and getting out in the open served to start healing the emotional wounds that I have experienced. Now staffing the weekends, giving back, has helped me to continue to heal and has started the healing process for other wounded vets.