Ocean Reef Club Helps Keep Wounded Service Members & their Families Together
In April, Ocean Reef Club Members hosted a group of wounded, ill and injured service members and their families at the Club for a 4-day family retreat hosted by the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF). The retreat consisted of much needed respite, family- and team-building exercises, lifeskill development, and wellness activities. The array of activities that The Reef offered gave the family members therapeutic tools to promote future physical and emotional well-being.
“The Members at The Reef made us feel right at home. Everyone we interacted with was very warm and welcoming to our family and no one judged us on appearance or disability.”
Thanks to the generosity of many, these families were able to put the stress of their everyday lives aside and took part in a fishing excursion, kayak tour, daily yoga, a visit to the everglades, a swim with the dolphins, a cooking class, and spa treatments. This was a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity for these families, and they were so grateful for the experience. The family members all connected internally, and the service members and caregivers could connect with others for peer-to-peer support.
“I loved being able to be around other wounded warrior and caregiver families in a leisurely and care-free setting. Most times when we are around other families it is places like the VA or other high stress situations.”
The Yellow Ribbon Fund is a non-profit organization offering supplemental assistance to wounded, ill and injured service members and their caregivers that bridge the gap between their need and earned benefits, enabling families to remain together during critical healing phases of their recovery. The organization’s overall goal is to keep the family unit healthy and strong. These families are faced with many challenges for the rest of their lives. YRF encourages them to embrace the new normal and find a healthy outlook for the road ahead.
Time spent caregiving can lead to the loss of income/ jobs and exact a substantial physical and emotional toll. In response to the need, Yellow Ribbon Fund developed the Keystone Program. Keystone is defined as the central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together. Without a strong lynchpin holding the family together through crisis, the family unit will collapse. Yellow Ribbon Fund offers family wellness retreats to support the whole family unit during the life-long recovery of a wounded, ill or injured service member. It was only fitting that the retreat was hosted at the home to the Florida Keystone!
“Our family hasn’t been on a family vacation since 2013. At that time my husband had just returned from a 6 month stay at Walter Reed. For our family this gave us some much needed family time away from our hectic lives back in Texas. To see our boys bond warmed my heart. They also had time to hang out with dad and just enjoy the moment. Something we rarely get to do.”
The Yellow Ribbon Fund extends a
special thank you to those at
Ocean Reef who made this
Rich and Nikki Beyer
Jerry and Kay Fischer
George and Amy Joseph
Pete and Ann Liashek
Jim and Erin Seale
Steve and Maggie Parker
Nick and Suellen Paleologos
Tim and Mary Sullivan
Chuck and Sheila Wagner
Featured above: Wounded, ill and injured service members and their families spent a four-day retreat at Ocean Reef in April, thanks to the generosity of Members and the Yellow Ribbon Fund.