The Traditional Approach vs. Actual Community
Alabama Veteran is a Veteran operated community based network for veterans to access a variety of resources or to request personalized 1-on-1 counseling or community navigation assistance.
The unique mission of Alabama Veteran is Everything Veteran. Whether a Veteran needs career assistance and is paired up with a community professional or requires guidance in educational or unique state benefits, Alabama Veteran has made itself available to a growing number of area veterans. Our ability to connect with our community and its Veterans is what separates Alabama Veteran from a large number of resource networks across the nation. In recent months Alabama Veteran, with the support of our patriotic community members launched a nationwide partnership with organizations focused solely of Warrior Retreats.
During spring break Alabama Veteran was able to partner with Outward Bound of North Carolina to send truly deserving Combat Veteran and Retiree of the Army National Guard, Todd Wheat on a week long get away to experience Florida Everglade’s 10,000 Island Canoe Tour.
Wheat was one of 10 Veterans from across the nation that were awarded access to the all expense paid opportunity to cut away from the demands of the regular 9 to 5. Wheat’s trip began with a pit stop in Hoover, Al and the issuing of our ever so popular Alabama Veteran Swag. At Alabama Veteran we make sure to stick with the basics, uniformity being one. From there Wheat began his day long journey via commercial air to the Ft. Myers Airport in Florida. There he eagerly awaited the assembly of his group and their 40 mile canoe trip in the days to come.
Wheat’s group was made up of Veterans, each from a different state and representing all branches of service- he teamed up with both Vietnam and Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom Veterans. Wheat and his team took to their canoe following their reception with the Outward Bound guides, stating that the most rewarding aspect of this trip was the immediate presence of camaraderie, one as he quoted, “only achieved in the military”.
For 5 days Wheat’s team were taught how to use tidal maps to navigate their through 40 miles of one of the world’s largest mangrove forests and learning several water navigation techniques. The team did not only connect, they were tested on their ability to perform as a team. They left the comforts of their homes to reestablish connection with their fellow Veterans in the outdoors, backyard to Manatee, Dolphins, and Bald Eagles; this was a one of a kind retreat.
There was one main theme throughout the entire traverse, team building. The team remained on their 40 mile water traverse start to finish, meaning they ate, slept, and rested aboard their canoes, ultimately making their way from the East Lake River to the Outward Bound Base Camp. The team celebrated their accomplishment for the remainder of the trip forging lifelong friendships Wheat plans on maintaining.
The basis of warrior retreats is recreational therapy and re-connection via strong-bond events aimed towards promoting social interest and camaraderie. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, or hosting community events,
Alabama Veteran has taken interest in and plans to recreate similar opportunities here in the state. In late February Alabama Veteran Co-Founder Al Castillo and Alabama Veteran community members embarked on a weekend long retreat into the wooded hunting grounds of Southern Alabama at the invitation of a patriotic group of community members. The event presented the group with a unique opportunity to engage with fellow veterans and community members in the same setting. The event was one of a kind and was a well deserved and rewarding escape and the start of our teams focus on warrior wellness.
Warrior retreats are a community effort that Alabama Veteran will continue to pursue for our Veterans in need to social connection, physical wellness, and engagement. The benefits are many, Wheat’s expression captures our vision best, “My advice is to do it, even though it presented a little bit of a physical challenge, my batteries are fully recharged and juiced”.
I couldn’t have said it any better. Todd we cannot be any more appreciative for being able to make this happen for you and your family. We look forward to hearing back from you. Keep in touch- Al.
If you are interested to see how you can support Alabama Veteran’s continued efforts in this area, please reach out to me directly at: email@example.com . We have a schedule of events taking groups of veterans out of the area and will be hosting community events here at home as well. We can certainly use all the help we can.