This is where it all started for many leaders of the Spokane veteran community. The Deer Lake OIF/OEF Retreat changed all of us as we grew from the experiences that we’ve shared at this wonderful place. One constant through the years has been the meals cooked by firefighters who have demonstrated so much support for their brother warriors.
As our organization has evolved, so have the activities that we offer in conjunction with our retreats. This year’s Deer Lake Retreat included sweat lodge ceremonies, high and low ropes courses, rock climbing, and trap shooting. We find activities involving water to be particularly cleansing and healing; these included water polo, kayaking, tubing, and fishing. Adding to the relaxing environment were yoga and massage sessions.
As usual Ma J opened her lakefront home to us and hosted a feast that has become an annual celebration of the service of these warriors and a remembrance of the fallen. She fed us and let us enjoy her piece of heaven even if it was only for a day. Participants are able to breath and relax, helping to clear minds of haunting or tormenting thoughts. This combination of relaxation and activity helps to bring on the great sleep that helps with effective healing.
As a final send-off, rock climbing and trap shooting send participants home with a bang. Veterans left with a networked support system to help them pave the way forward and become an integral part of the community. As always, WE EMPOWER OUR VETERANS.