A friend introduced me to this incredible organization nearly a year ago and I am forever indebted to her and the organization! Patricia and other staff members helped me understand the depression and PTSD of the military sexual trauma I'd experienced and started the healing process I desperately needed.To continue my healing and help others do the same, I have volunteered for many of the program's supported by Patricia and the Starfish Foundation and find them to have impeccable integrity, compassion and a true gift for helping people deal with the toughest of situations with excellence and elegance!Because of my involvement with this organization, I am finding new joy every day and the courage to live life fully!
I was able to attend the Veterans Returning program with my husband. This was the first time wives were able to attend with their spouses. I was able to meet others with problems that sometimese seemed like I was alone trying to face. This program was fantastic! It helped my husband and myself face problems and really TALK and UNDERSTAND about the stresses and difficulties that were tearing our family apart. We were helped to open up and share what was hurting us. In that same process we were able to hear from others having similar problems and realize we are NOT alone. There is help for us. I hope this program will be avaliable for everyone to participate in. I can't say enough about what a help it is.
I am honored and humbled by being able to witness the veterans journey home. It brings tears to my eyes to think that these men and women put their lives and life on the line for me, my freedom and all of America. VJH is truly a safe place for every vet to come home. My husband, a VN vet, participated and afterwards his PTSD changed and life was much more pleasant.
I went to this weekend to serve our Veterans. What I got from the weekend was some deep emotional healing for myself around my experiences during the Vietnam War. As a civilian of "draft-able age", I saw many of my friends taken into war, and returned with deep emotional and physical wounds. This weekend gave me some closure around my experiences.
I enjoyed my time at Vet’s Journey Home both as a participant and staff. I’ve learned so much. The staff is great. They couldn’t get any better! If the word could get out to all vets, the hall would be full. It is GREAT. Last but not least. Thank you for taking some of the load off of my shoulders. I can’t thank you enough. It’s been 40 years. THANK YOU!
Working on Vets Journey Home through funding from Starfish Foundation has been an amazing experience --- helping and being with those who gave so much to my freedom is a joy! Thanks to Starfish Foundation for making it possible!
I have participated in the Vet's Journey Home weekends as an civilian assistant. The healing that happens during this weekend is stunning. It serves to bring the veterans' experiences into the community in a way that provides clearing and opening and understanding for all of us. I feel privileged every time I am able to offer my services to support this amazing work.
I am a 20 year retired vet. My experience with Vets Journey Home started with it's predacessor, Bamboo Bridge. I'm the guy always with his back to the wall, always vigilant, looking for the unexpected threat and a way out, or at least I used to be. Since attending that first weekend, and staffing many weekends since, my life is so much different. So much better. I can't say thank you enough.
I am female Army veteran and have staffed both Vets Journey Home and its predecessor, Bamboo Bridge. Every time I staff I come away with a profound respect and awe for what other veterans have endured in both their military and civilian lives. I have watched vets heal some of these wounds right during the weekend -- becoming lighter, happier, more at peace. As I continue to meet veterans and active military enduring the trauma of war, and of sexual harassment and assault, I am so thankful that I have this program that I can recommend to them to help in their healing.
My role was two-fold: I was on the staff as well as being there to observe and write about the Vets Journey Home. I have been to other retreats/weekends for veterans and families and this was unique in many ways. Because the group was so small -- 8 partipants and about a dozen staff members -- there was an intimacy that helped establish an atmostphere of safety and trust that is crucial if there is to be kind of opening up and healing over a short space of time. All the veterans were dealing with issues relating to trauma and therefore, so were their spouses. Patricia Clason is obviously highly skilled in her work, and it became apparent almost immediately, that the particpants were in good hands. She set the tone of safety and trust, of strong boundaries and structure from the beginning and was consistent throughout the weekend. For this community, who all struggle with trust and safety issues, this was crucial. Facilitator Judge Mattocks' skill, wisdom and compassion was evident throughout, as he helped the particpants through some difficult and painful process work. All the staff members showed a level of caring and compassion that was palpable, and the particpants seemed to feel it throughout the weekend. Because the process work is so intense and can be so depleting, it was very important that there be times of refueling and restoring. Mealtime was one of those times. The food was not only delicious but was prepared with love by staff volunteers. For the veterans who have experienced the ripple effects of trauma and a sense of being betrayed and not being cared about, this was important and meaningful. Mealtime provided an opportunity for laughter and letting down, for staff and participants to get to know and enjoy each other. The weather made it difficult to have time outdoors to walk, rest and restore. More time in the fresh air would have been good.
The Vet's Journey Home provides an opportunity for veterans to be welcomed home in a safe, trusting and nurturing environment. The staff of caring men and women is highly motivated and skilled to allow the participants to heal old wounds and traumas, tell their stories and feel like they are deeply connected to others who have endured similar circumstances. I have been deeply moved by the strength, honesty, courage and miraculous healing that this workshop evokes.