Many of our male participants cite a feeling of loss, a missing purpose or some unresolved aspect to their military service after separation, retirement or returning from war.
At MVS we know that steps can be taken to mitigate post-traumatic stress and other service-related issues, but sometimes something still lingers. An underplayed aspect of recent conflicts is the preponderance of moral injury to good men and women, doing the right thing for the right reasons, but still suffering through the consequences of actions that conflict with one’s moral sense of self, sometimes many years after the causal events.
Combat action, violence, intensity of experience, loss, emotional pain and the human cost of war can haunt a soul unless specific steps are taken to acknowledge, accept and heal the wounds arising from them. The hidden or invisible scars of war and multiple trips to the extremes of human experience can be just as debilitating as physical injuries but, because of the intensely personal nature of feelings stemming from them (often centered around guilt, shame and remorse), it is common for them to go untreated…sometimes with lasting and predictable impact on emotional health, spiritual wellbeing and relationships. At MVS, we specialize in healing this hurt and using it to fuel personal growth and a positive journey forward as a proud veteran.
How We Help
Tohidu brings men together to use challenge, introspection, shared experience and the healing effects of nature, camaraderie and self-forgiveness to process service-related trauma.
Melwood Veterans Services’ Operation Tohidu® for Men retreats are held at Melwood’s Retreat & Recreation Center located in Nanjemoy, a peaceful and secluded wooded area in southern Maryland. It is a process of building trust, pushing boundaries and examining learned thought-patterns and coping strategies to promote a release from the grip untreated afflictions, moral injury, silence and shame. It is a program run by veterans with personal experience of the effects of service-related trauma and moral injury. It is run with a light touch and a soldierly respect for and a brotherly understanding of one another.
“Tohidu” is a Cherokee word meaning peace of mind, body, and spirit. Operation Tohidu’s® experiential program focuses on confidence-building, outdoor activities, and group discussion in a relaxed, positive environment using proven techniques for the self-management of symptoms, stressors, and responses. Our highly trained staff of veteran facilitators, certified recreational support professionals, and peer mentors facilitate activities that highlight individual abilities and the value of group support to drive post-traumatic growth.
Cost: The 5-day retreat is free of charge to veterans and active duty service members, including accommodations and travel.
Operation: Tohidu is a 5-day retreat designed with the goal of enabling participants to heal from service-related trauma through experience-based learning and other alternative therapies and interventions.
If you are interested in applying please use the link below and mention the Virtual Retreat. Once your application is completed and submitted, Melwood Veterans Services will reach out to you, typically within 48 hours of registration.