Along with the rest of the country, and most of the world, COVID-19 forced TWC to suspend our planned retreat programs throughout 2020.
We were, however, able to conduct an important Facilitator Training session in November, appropriately enough, over the Veterans Day holiday. The participants attending this training provided TWC with the ability to continue developing key staff and volunteer roles that will help us prepare for a return to our in-person life-saving programs, hopefully, in June of 2021.
Although our in-person programming was suspended for most of the year, like those we serve, TWC demonstrated resilience in 2020, specifically in keeping true to our mission of improving our veterans and their families’ overall well-being. In June 2020, TWC pivoted from our traditional in-person services, and we piloted group sessions in the virtual space via video conference.
From July through December 2020, TWC began hosting regular monthly virtual meet-ups, finishing the year with eight successful sessions, including more than 156 veterans, and military spouses from across the country.
These sessions were initially planned as two-dimensional activities to include psychoeducational components while also providing therapeutic engagements; our biggest takeaway was the value of continued connection with the agency and their peer groups. Because of our success, this concept will continue monthly as a new piece of additional programming that we are affectionately calling “Vet Connect.”
These "Vet Connect" meet-ups will be folded into our regular continuum of care as we resume in-person retreats and as a way to stay connected with those that have previously participated, as well as those that have inquired about attending our programs in the future. We will host these meet-ups each month, on the third Thursday, at 7 PM EST.
As we look ahead to 2021, we are hopeful of resuming our in-person programming in June. Of course, to do so responsibly, The Warrior Connection has put in place substantial COVID mitigation measures that will require more due-diligence from both the staff, volunteers, and those participants hopeful to attend. To view our planned 2021 schedule, follow the link below. Registration will open in April for our June programs.
Please do share our calendar with any military families that you know. You never know; you may save a life.