Homeland Jan 2017

Page 34

R4 Alliance Member Highlight


eet Thomas. A veteran of the US Armed Forces who suffers from symptoms of post-traumatic stress, Thomas attended a Higher Ground military program in January 2016. Thomas was not in a significant relationship at the time, so participated in a weeklong program for single male veterans and was invited to bring a supporter, as all Higher Ground participants are asked to do in order to provide a more comfortable entry into the program and help ease anxiety leading up to the event. Thomas asked a close friend and fellow veteran to accompany him; just a week before the Higher Ground program, however, his friend had a medical emergency and was forced to decline the invitation. This left Thomas without a support person, and therefore with significant anxiety as he prepared to make the trip to Idaho to meet 14 participants and several staff members unknown to him. Once Thomas arrived in Sun Valley, he realized that several other participants were attending without supporters, so he immediately felt connected to them and comfortable in his surroundings. He fit in perfectly with the group, and often had the whole crew laughing.


HOMELAND / January 2017