The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.
— George Washington

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. That explicit focus on this community - and on combat-related stress - provides us with an incredible opportunity. We do not aspire simply to deliver positive and uplifting experiences to combat veterans and their families. While that is a worthy goal, and something that certainly takes place every day at the Retreat, it is insufficient in the context of our collective challenge. 

As a nation, we make a special covenant with the men and women we send into harms way. In exchange for their service and sacrifice, we commit to bringing them home - all the way home. The distressing truth is that, as things currently stand, that commitment is not being honored. That is evidenced by a range of troubling statistics - it is estimated that 2 million combat veterans and family members are struggling with some form of combat-related stress, we are losing 22 veterans each day by their own hand, and two-thirds of post-9/11 veterans report having difficulty transitioning. We can and we must do better.

That is why we built Boulder Crest Retreat. To ensure that the special covenant we make with combat veterans is honored - not just for this generation but for generations past and future as well. While we all wish for a world without conflict, it is clear that after 14 years of war and crises ranging across the globe, such an outcome is unlikely. 

 

Boulder Crest Retreat recognizes the unique gifts that our combat veterans possess, and their remarkable potential here at home. We believe that what they have done could one day pale in comparison to what they will do. That can happen if, and only if, we develop, demonstrate and deploy a model for addressing combat-related stress that works - not just in the moment - but in a way that is sustainable. Boulder Crest Retreat programs are delivered in a manner that ensures our returning warriors will be as productive at home as they were on the battlefield.

Our efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Retreat are divided into three phases. 

PHASE I – The Place and Space

Our first phase of fundraising focused on securing the necessary funds ($10 million) to build the Retreat and operate the facility for three years. Our first campaign came to a close in December 2014 having exceeded our goal. Our early success ensured that the Retreat is debt-free, and enabled us to serve more than 1,000 combat veterans and family members and offer a host of programs at no cost to our guests.  

PHASE II – Solving the Problem

In January 2015, we kicked off a second campaign (Phase II) to raise an additional $10 million to sustain the Retreat for the next 5 years, enhance our capacity to deliver therapeutic and recreational activities to all of our guests and create the nation's first comprehensive, non-clinical curriculum for combat-related stress. 

Funding will enable us to build a full-time, on-site therapeutic team that will be tasked with delivering our PATHH programs and making therapeutic and recreational activities available to our Family Retreat guests. In addition, it will ensure we can continue to offer free retreat programming to 700 guests annually. Finally, Phase II will provide the necessary funding to develop an innovative, evidence-based and scalable curriculum (PATHH), that includes student and instructor workbooks, train-the-trainer programs (for combat veterans and civilians), robust program evaluation and a technology platform designed to sustain the benefits of Retreat programming.

PHASE III – a long-term commitment

Our final aim is to establish a significant endowment for Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness so that this beautiful, unique space is available to all our nation’s combat veterans and their families for generations to come.

For those that share our interest in preserving this special place and programs, we would welcome the opportunity to visit with you. Please contact Sarah Fehrer via phone at (703) 424-1349 or via email at sarah@bouldercrestretreat.org.