It can be difficult to transition back into a normal life after serving in the military.
That's where Project Sanctuary steps in.
The first week of July the program hosted military families from across the country for its first retreat in Maryland. On July 5th they gathered at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown. The Pearlstone Center is an agency of The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. They are a non-profit and are open to the public for various events, programs and retreats.
Project Sanctuary, which is based out of Denver, focuses on life skills, like communication, conflict resolution and financial literacy, managing post-traumatic stress disorder is addressed as well.
Heather Ehle, a nurse, started Project Sanctuary in 2007, realizing service members needed more support transitioning back into normal life.
“When the service members come back they may be dealing with post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries; they may have been separated from their families for months, even years,” Ehle said. “And at the same time, the families have moved on – they have their own challenges. The spouses and kids have gone through those things. It's been our honor and our privilege to mend those fences, bring them back together.”
The retreat is free. To date Project Sanctuary has served more than 1,400 families. It has plans to serve another 300 this year.