The Steel Mags are tough, resilient, focused, caring, resourceful, dependable women who serve to strengthen the Special Forces Regiment and the Green Berets they love, while empowering each other. Veterans Alternative is a group whose mission is to provide alternative modalities to improve the quality of life for our Military and Veteran populations. When these two came together for a week in July 2017, the outcome was outstanding.
When working in the Military community, Veterans Alternative often sees the challenges that are presented within our Special Forces community; not just for the warrior themselves, but for the families that support these warriors, specifically their spouses or significant others.
In March 2017 at the annual Care Coalition Conference in Tampa Bay, an opportunity arose to work specifically with the spouses of Green Berets. Brian Anderson, CEO of Veterans Alternative, and Angie Fennen, Program Coordinator for the Green Beret Foundation, discussed the issues that arise for these women and the idea for a retreat specific to this population was talked about.
Upon hearing what Veterans Alternative was doing for the Military and Veteran population, Saint Leo University was gracious enough to offer their campus for the event and from this the first Steel Mags Summer Summit was born. Nineteen ladies from all over the country came to hone and improve their Leadership from Chapters across the Nation. The women were also provided an opportunity to practice self-care, receiving services such as Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Integrative Restoration, Yoga and Massage Therapy. Throughout the entire retreat individuals were also engaged in camaraderie building activities designed to strengthen their relationships with one another, as well as build their collective Chapters across the Nation.
The retreat was three full days of growth, support and laughter. There were decreases in anxiety and stress, and the ladies shared statements such as these:
“It was an amazing experience. Everybody involved did such a great job and they made me feel at home. Thank you so much to Veteran’s Alternative and the therapists for making it one of the best experiences I’ve had.”
“I had a great time and I already know that my ART Therapy is working.”
“This has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. Veterans Alternative staff made me feel welcome and they actually cared if the services being provided was helping.”
The success of the Steel Mags retreat shows that Post-Traumatic Growth is available for many different populations utilizing Veterans Alternative model. As Veterans Alternative continues to grow, the number of retreats will grow as well and the model will spread to many different Military and Veteran groups in need.