Melwood to Launch Operation: Tohidu

Women Climbing tree while in safety harness

Melwood to Launch Operation: Tohidu

November 14, 2014

UPPER MARLBORO AND NANJEMOY, MD – November 14, 2014 – Melwood, one of the leading nonprofit organizations serving people with differing abilities in Maryland, has implemented an innovative program that will provide experiential rehabilitation and therapeutic recreation for a growing population of wounded warriors living with post-traumatic stress.

A 2012 survey found that 14% of military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Some experts believe that incidences of PTS(d) could be as high as triple that statistic. In an effort to address this growing epidemic Melwood has launched Operation: Tohidu, a series of 7-day retreats designed to address the needs of veterans and active duty service men and women who have completed one or more tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, JTF-GTMO, and related shipboard deployments or other conflicts or missions.

In its first year, Melwood will sponsor up to six retreats at the Melwood Recreation and Retreat Center in Nanjemoy, Maryland. The program will utilize controlled, modified exposure therapy, among other modalities to address eight PTS(d) treatment pillars. Melwood will target between 20-40 participants, per retreat, who are formally diagnosed or self-reporting with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, or substance abuse disorders that are directly related to deployment-related trauma.

“Melwood has a time-honored tradition of developing cutting-edge programs that address the needs of Americans with differing abilities” said Melwood’s President and CEO, Cari DeSantis. “Operation: Tohidu is our next step in empowering people with differing abilities to transform their lives through unique opportunities.”

Operation: Tohidu begins November 19, 2014. For more information on upcoming retreats and registration please visit

About Melwood

Melwood is a 501(c)3 organization that advocates for and empowers individuals of differing abilities to transform their own lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community. The organization provides employment, job training, life skill improvement, supportive and recreational services for more than 1900 people with differing abilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region and serves as an international model that has been duplicated around the world. Melwood employs more than 700 people with differing abilities through 38 federal contracts at 43 sites as a result of the organization’s partnerships with community employers and the AbilityOne Program, providing total facility management, custodial, grounds keeping and recycling services in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

Melwood has a long history of working with and for veterans and their families. Customized job training and support helps individuals obtain employment either through Melwood’s own programs or local employers. Through a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Melwood operates a range of productive and highly acclaimed programs that provide training and work for veterans with differing abilities. For more information, visit Melwood on Facebook or

About the Melwood Recreation Center

The Melwood Recreation Center is a beautiful 108-acre facility located on the Nanjemoy Peninsula in rural Charles County, Md. With a diverse offering of lodge-style cabins, challenge courses, nearly 10 miles of hiking and riding trails, aquatic and equestrian facilities, and a variety of meeting spaces all set in a serene natural environment, it is a versatile location that can accommodate a wide range of events and activities. The Melwood Recreation Center is located approximately one hour south of Washington, D.C., and is a short, 12-mile drive west of La Plata, Md.


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About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Jewelyn Cosgrove
Vice President of Government and Public Relations
O: 240-846-3952
[email protected]


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