This Veterans Day we are celebrating the unique experiences that veterans face both during their military service and after their military service. Read more of our Veterans Day pieces here.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the required restrictions led to a halt in any activity outside the home in March. On Sept. 24, Georgia’s Camp Southern Ground, a non-profit organization founded by GRAMMY Award-winning artist Zac Brown, announced it is reopening for on-site veteran programming, Warrior Week and Warrior PATHH (Progressive Alternative Training for Healing Heroes).
This year has been especially difficult for many veterans, specifically those that are experiencing mental health issues. Camp Southern Ground was focused on re-opening so they can continue to provide the services many veterans need.
“The impact this year has had on the mental health and wellbeing of our nation’s veterans cannot be understated,” Camp Southern Ground said in a statement on its website.
Camp Southern Ground’s CEO Mike Dobbs shared in a press release that the camp “remained connected with our veterans through virtual programming, but we know the importance of building community and support face-to-face.” Camp Southern Ground’s motto is “where goodness grows” and that is their mission. The goal of their veteran programming is to provide and build supportive networks for transitioning post-9/11 veterans.
About Camp Southern Ground
Warrior Week is a 12-month workforce and wellness program that begins with six days at camp. The camp week focuses on identifying strengths through team-building exercises, training sessions with world-class instructors about Clifton Strengths (90% Fortune 500 Companies use this, read: marketable assessment) and Enneagram assessments that prepare the attendees for the transition from military life. Team efforts of shared meals, ropes exercises and other events help build the veteran community outside of their immediate units in the military. The goal of the program is to help transitioning veterans build an action plan for their life after service after determining their strengths and purpose for their life to transform what they do as a career but also personally.
One veteran’s testimony shared “This program provided me what I needed to understand what my experiences, feelings, and reactions are. Now I am aware of my strengths and know how to capitalize on these strengths to help me focus on my career and wellbeing. I know now what I need to do moving forward. I cannot say thank you enough for helping navigate out of the fog.”
Warrior PATHH (Progressive Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) is a structured 18-month, peer-led, non-clinical program focused on healing for post-9/11 veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and/or combat stress. The program was developed with the Boulder Crest Foundation, a leader in the field of treatment for Posttraumatic Growth through programming, training and education initiatives. No clinical diagnosis or previous mental health care is required prior to attendance of the camp. It begins with a seven-day in-person camp with a group of six to eight veterans. That core group becomes a network for the week at camp and weekly phone calls throughout the program. A community is built on growth in the PATHH program.
One veteran shared his experience: “Our six-man unit was a marriage made in heaven and the depths of combat hell. We still talk weekly after a year out of the program and have forged a bond that is unique. The staff of CSG “Gets It”. They have taken the time to look into what a combat veteran is and needs. The PATHH is a unique opportunity to build on Warrior Week and reveal the core of who and what we are today because of who and what we were in the past. Reflection and acceptance are not easy but the PATHH Guides created the environment that made this transition and acceptance possible.”
All programming is offered at no cost to veterans. All programs are supported by donations through generous supporters of Camp Southern Ground.
If you or someone you know is a post-9/11 veteran who is preparing to transition from the military in the next few years or hasn’t found a mission in life in the civilian world after the transition from the military, check out Camp Southern Ground’s programming here, or call (678) 561-9600.