Scott and Kari Whitfield
Americans need to stop being sorry and start being proud of what their men and women in the Armed Forces are doing and what they do for this country.
I needed time to get away, but at the same time I needed help. LSF was all that. From the moment I was met at the airport and throughout the retreat, everything was about my happiness and convenience. They really cared, but knew how to be respectful at the same time. It was truly refreshing. I didn’t know what to expect, but I can sum it up easily. In the four days I was with LSF, I felt I made more breakthroughs and realizations about my disabilities than in the three years of therapy at the VA. I made friends and felt a camaraderie I haven’t felt in a long time. THIS PROGRAM WORKS and I hope it will help many other veterans like myself for years to come. Thank you, Lone Survivor Foundation, for what you do.Back to top
I would like to tell you that I had a great experience on the retreat. It was informative and incredibly beneficial for me. I left with clarity and focus of things to come. Hearing we’re not alone in our struggles makes it easier to understand—if you made it through then so can I. I hope I can return again.Back to top
We flew to Texas and were driven to one of the most beautiful places I have visited, a big ranch. By Sunday of the retreat, Ryne was participating in discussions, offering his opinion, fishing, making friends, and enjoying talking to everyone there to support us. This is a miracle in my opinion, since most days I am my husband’s only friend left. To see my husband grow so much from who he was on Thursday to the person he was Monday when we left brought tears to my eyes. This experience helped both of us and our marriage. Talking, learning, and working with the therapists have brought Ryne and I closer than we ever have been before.
LSF also gave us the skills to adjust to another new normal—when we leave military life behind, turn the page, and try to go back to being civilians. Ryne and I now have people supporting us, believing in us and helping us. Ryne now has an accountability partner who understands what he went through. LSF helped us in so many ways I can’t write them all down or how to put them into words. I know there are a lot of wounded warriors out there and I hope they can all find their way to your foundation. I ask in my most humble way possible that LSF can continue to receive the support of the community and this great nation to help those who truly need it.Back to top
The Rivera Family
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Lone Survivor Foundation for providing my family with the opportunity of attending the retreat. The retreat was an excellent opportunity for us as family to come together and share our experiences with other families. More important the group sessions were instrumental in our understanding of the TBI and PTSD conditions. My children were amazed by the information provided and now they are able to ask the right questions about my conditions. My children understand better now why my changes of mood and why dad feels bad sometimes.
The retreat was like a shot of fresh air to our family and for sure an unforgettable experience for our entire family. The facilities were absolutely incredible and the attentions from everyone were beyond our expectations. The therapies with the horses were unique and very helpful; it showed us a different way of looking at our issues and situations. I highly recommend this retreat to wounded warrior families; I know for sure that it will help their recovery significantly.
Thanks for the opportunity and God Bless…Back to top
The Lane Family
First off I want to thank you for letting me come back to the retreat. The first time I came was amazing. The second time was even better. I’m an alumni for the Wounded Warrior Project and have done hunts and Bike rides with them and it’s an amazing organization. As much as I like the WWP, the LSF has been more beneficial to me. For your foundation to be as new as it is, your programs are amazing and your staff, I have never met more patriotic people in my life. They go out of their way to make sure we have everything we need and then some.
I have been dealing with PTSD since 2003 and didn’t get help for it until 2007 and received a discharge from the military. Since then the only treatment that has helped me some has been through the LSF. I have 2 kids and it was hard for me to be around them. My son loves to build things but every time I tried to do a project with him I would get to frustrated and wouldn’t finish it. It was also hard for me to focus and play with my daughter. After the retreat in August, the goal I made was to be there for my kids more and to focus more on being a dad to them. Since then I’ve been able to take both of them fishing, bowling and to the park. Before that there was no way I could do any of those things.
In June I received an invite to come back but this time bring my family. I was excited but nervous too. This was the first time they have been around me while participating in treatment and I never really told my kids what happened to me. I have always dreaded talking about it to them. Thanks to Denise who helped me it turned out great. I had an amazing time with my kids. I think most organization work just on the Veteran and not the family. You really need to help everyone to keep the family together. My kids ask when we’re going back to Texas and they loved it there. When we got back home to Arkansas I talked to my son who is 4. He understands more than I thought. He asked me how much it cost. I told him that people donated money to help dad get better and also to help you and your sister out. he told me next time we go he’s going to bring his piggy bank and give it to you guys to help pay for it. I’m pretty much the most unemotional person, but that brought a tear to my eye. If that doesn’t tell you how much this foundation means to the Lane family, I don’t know what would.
Thank you so very much for the opportunity to attend. It has helped me so much and you have given me something that I could never repay you for.Back to top
First off I want to thank everyone who has anything to do with this amazing Foundation. I know almost everyone that has a role in the LSF has either served or has loved ones who have. Words can’t explain the emotions that come from an organization like yours for what you do to help people who have been injured from war. People donate money and that money pays for the retreats but from the retreats it teaches us to love life, put in perspective what is important and that life isn’t over after war. To many it can even stop people from taking their lives and make families closer. That is a gift that you gave to me that I can never repay. Even though I have not met many of you I thank you and look at you guys and girls as brothers and sisters.
My name is SGT. Matthew Lane. I served as part of the first wave of Soldiers into Iraq in 2003 with the 101st Airborne as an Infantry soldier. Many of the issues I have come from PTSD that I have been diagnosed with. I also have knee and back problems along with some TBI. I got out in 2004 and joined the Utah National Guard and deployed to Nicaragua and to Hurricane Katrina. I also got a job doing security for a Nuclear Research Facility in Idaho for DOE. I was in denial from my PTSD and other issues. One night I even had a flash back while working, which no one ever knew until I talked about it in Oregon. In 2007 I finally got treatment from the VA and got a medical Discharge from the NG. I still had my job but after I went to an Inpatient PTSD program I found out how messed up I really ones and at the end of the month it was put in my file that they were amazed that I could hold a job and that I shouldn’t be working in the job field I was in. they helped me realize why I did some of the things I do and also things I never associated with it I had a TS security clearance and they wouldn’t bring me back because of what was put in my file. That just made life that much worse. I lost my job couldn’t pay rent on my house and my income was 800 a month as opposed to a lot more I was getting from working. My life was starting a downward spiral. My wife Grandpa had a rental house that was empty and offered me and my family free rent until I got back on my feet. We made the move from Idaho to Arkansas. Life has been very difficult for me. I’m now rated as 100% from the VA.
I have been treated by the VA from Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Arkansas. I participated in numerous classes and treatments with no progress. I’m an Alumni in the Wounded Warrior Project and have done bike rides and a few local hunts. I feel like during those times I have felt somewhat normal with the other vets and it has helped my morale but it only last so long, then I’m back to being depressed and angry all the time. I found out about the LSF after an incident of road rage that I was going to kill the guy, but I saw my kids in the rear view mirror and that was the only thing that stopped me were my kids and I was sick of traumatizing them. I knew I needed help. This may sound dumb but I read an article that was emailed to me a few weeks prior about an incident that involved Mr. Luttrell and the chance he had to shoot some people who wronged him. Although my situation was different there were some similarities, like someone messing with me and having the chance to take their life. From there I found out more by reading his book and it inspired me not by what he went through but that he could function as well as he does despite all those things. I emailed the LSF and thanked them for what they do for the vets and thanked Mr. Luttrell for the inspiration and the hope his stories and articles have put in me.
In September I had the honor and privilege to attend a retreat. I’m not one to piss on your back and call it rain. If it’s stupid or something is wrong I speak my mind, that’s the way I am. I will say the horse therapy was a little hippie but I know it probably helped someone else out, so that’s good to mix in different things. I wrote down what my end goal was of the trip and what I wanted to start to do and that so not Isolate as much and be able to enjoy spending time with my 2 kids. Since the retreat I have had made more progresses with the skills from there than I have gotten from the VA or any other treatment so far. I haven’t zoned out as much or isolate and I’ve been doing thing with them and my wife. I finally realized what is important and how my mood and isolation affects my family. Not only have I done more with them I also enjoy it. I’m starting to feel emotions that I thought died over in Iraq. You guys helped me realize what is important and also inspired me because you guys have been through a lot and some even more than me and yet have a family and start a foundation, why can’t I. to me that gave me a kick in the balls and woke me up. I don’t want to be that asshole father who yelling at his kids, never going to one of their games. Now I’m not healed or perfect but I’m headed down a path that before I would have never thought was possible. I still mess up but I’m making progress like never before. There are no words or anything I can do to thank you guys and gals enough for the impact you have made in my life. But I will say that I would do anything for you guys and gals and the LSF. If there is ever anything I could do please let me know.Back to top