Operation: Tohidu® Retreat Overview
April 10, 2017
On March 8, Melwood hosted its first Operation: Tohidu® program of the year with an all-women veterans group. This five-day program is reserved specifically for veterans to share common experiences and discover new ways to cope with unresolved trauma. Tohidu means peace of mind, body, and spirit.
This women-only retreat focused on a variety of educational and experiential activities that encouraged cohesiveness and resiliency in their battle to overcome post-traumatic stress in a private and trusting environment. One participant said, “[The program helped me to] re-center myself after having a difficult time.” Another participant told us that she attended a few other veteran-focused retreats in the past but that, “Operation: Tohidu was miles above them in its effectiveness.”
The most moving experience at the retreat for many participants was during the day trip to Washington, DC, that included a stop at the Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Women in Military Service Memorial and Museum. Kim Dozier, author of Breathing the Fire made a presentation during the trip, discussing her journey of resiliency, survival, and healing. Kim is a journalist and was severely injured in a car bomb attack in 2006 while working as a CBS News correspondent in Iraq.
Melwood remains committed to pursuing programs that help to empower veterans and their families. We recently developed Melwood Veteran Services (MVS), a newly formed non-profit organization under the Melwood umbrella, to create a diverse range of services to support veteran employment, career development, and community integration.
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 www.Melwood.org.
Vice President of Government and Public Relations