“Peace with the Past, through Power in the Present”.
The Global War on Terror has produced more than a half million American veterans with service-related injuries. This is in addition to the pre-9/11 era veteran population, many of whom are still struggling with service-related trauma. Thousands of these men and women are coping with invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and moral injury, or are processing the human impacts of their military service. These warriors struggle to recover not only their health, but also their civilian or military lives: maintaining employment or duty status, finding jobs, rebuilding or maintaining family relationships, and figuring out their place in our communities. Their path is far from easy and many need our support.
Operation Tohidu® is a 5-day intensive retreat offered at no cost to participants. Each session serves between 8-16 participants, including male and female veterans and service members representing all branches of service, as well as their spouses, partners or caregivers for a couple’s retreat.
Veterans have dedicated their lives to the protection of our liberties and rights. Operation Tohidu® serves them and challenges them – in some cases for the first time in a life dedicated to serving others – to pursue their own right to happiness and to move forwards from their service experiences with renewed positivity and pride.
“Tohidu” is a Cherokee word meaning peace of mind, body, and spirit. Operation Tohidu® focuses on confidence-building, outdoor activities, and group discussion in a relaxed, positive environment using proven techniques for the self-management of symptoms, stressors, and responses. Our highly trained staff of certified recreational support professionals facilitate activities that highlight individual ability and teamwork, promote positive engagement, drive transformative discussions and reframe traumatic experience.
Programming is designed to facilitate post-traumatic growth and drive or initiate progress on a participant’s post-trauma journey. Operation Tohidu® assists participants in changing their mindset, reconnecting with their spiritual selves, adapting their approach to trauma, and regaining a sense of wellbeing and purpose. Melwood Veterans Services’ adventure-based programming and positive psychology approach combine to encourage participants to overcome obstacles to their recovery and achieve the Operation Tohidu® mission of Peace with the Past, through Power in the Present.
By many accounts, Operation Tohidu® is one of the most intensive programs for veterans and active duty personnel with service-related traumas that is currently available in the eastern United States. Melwood Veterans Services is in the business of restoration: restoring hope that one is loved unconditionally; restoring faith that one’s life matters and that renewal is possible; restoring wholeness to broken hearts and wounded souls.
In a peaceful and secluded atmosphere, participants connect with nature and their fellow warriors to become empowered with alternative techniques to manage anxieties, post-traumatic stress and service-related issues. Download the Operation Tohidu® brochure to learn more about the program. Our short-duration, high-impact approach has a transformative impact on participants who make the trip to reconnect with their warrior-selves and experience post-traumatic growth.
Operation Tohidu® retreats are held at Melwood’s 108-acre Retreat and Recreation Center in Nanjemoy, Maryland. Participants use ropes courses, zip lines, kayaks, equine therapy and other adventurous activities to augment educational sessions, periods of introspection and reflection, group discussions and spiritual reinforcement throughout the retreat.
What Happens After I Register?
Once your application is completed and submitted, Melwood Veterans Services will reach out to you, typically within 48 hours of registration. The purpose of this contact will be to learn more about your personal situation, determine which retreat might be the best fit for you, explore scheduling options and to set up follow up calls. Since participation in Operation Tohidu® is voluntary and handled with the utmost discretion, we wish to ensure that your time with us is as productive and useful as possible in helping you achieve your personal goals. To this end a separate, individual call is arranged with a member of our Staff to determine your exact needs, situation and joint goals for our engagement.