The aftermath of the Vietnam War was a deeply trying time for a badly divided nation. Much of the frustration and anger that members of the public had was directed at the brave American men who fought in Vietnam. Incidents of spitting, bans on service members wearing their uniforms in public, and episodes of violence and outbursts were commonplace.
As a young boy growing up in Mount Vernon, Virginia, in a very military community, Boulder Crest Retreat's Founder Ken Falke remembers those scenes. Everyone of my close friends parents were serving in Vietnam. "My scoutmasters were all active duty military officers returning from Vietnam. I delivered the Washington Post, the Washington Star and the Alexandria Gazette newspapers. I saw firsthand in person and through the press, how bad our military was “welcomed” home. It was my vow not to let this happen to this generation of warriors as they returned."
Boulder Crest Retreat represents Ken, and his wife Julia's, way of ensuring that his commitment is honored. Opened in September 2013, Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness is the nation's first privately-funded rural wellness center dedicated exclusively to combat veterans and their families - from all current and previous conflicts. The Retreat serves as place that service members, veterans and their family members can come to for the rest, reconnection and recharge needed form long and often multiple deployments.
Boulder Crest is a tribute to the incredible service and sacrifices made not just by those who put on the uniform, but their entire family. Ken and Julia know that story personally, as Ken spent nearly 22 years in the Navy (retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer in 2002) and they are proud parents to two daughters, and grandparents to two (and soon-to-be three).
Boulder Crest Retreat only exists because of the generosity of so very many people from across the United States. We remain honored and proud to serve.