Connecting Combat Couples
Helen Phillips Staff Writer
June 3, 2021
Combat Wounded Couples need you. Will you help?
Purple Heart Veteran and member of the Warrior Bonfire Program, Jeremy Y., attended our Couples on the Coast Retreat in Gulf Shores with his wife back in April. Jeremy has been attending the Bonfire Adventure Retreats for the last 3 years and has seen a positive impact on his entire world. He became more involved with his wife and children at home, coached his son’s ball teams, and started working with organizations in his area to get local veterans and their children out on fishing and hunting events. Overall, he is less isolated, better able to share his story with civilians to help them learn of the needs, and he now has a community of support around him. What he didn’t realize, until attending a couples event, was that his wife really didn’t understand his needs and he didn’t know hers! Giving them the time to open up about some issues through structured group discussions, in the company of other couples experiencing much of the same things, proved to be very beneficial. Jeremy volunteers with the Warrior Bonfire to lead retreats in order to give back to the organization and help his brothers/sisters. While working a recent retreat Jeremy stated, “that couples retreat saved my marriage.”
Not only is this fantastic for him and his bride, but it is a strong indicator that we need to incorporate more couples retreats to help reduce the number of divorces among this population. The benefits are endless as the family is the number one support system, but more importantly, true growth in healing from traumatic experiences is evident when the mindset moves from “it being all about me”, to one of caring for others.
The spouses of our combat wounded veterans most often are experiencing secondary Post Traumatic Stress and the more we can encourage the veteran to show care and concern for their spouses, the better the marriage will be.