The American Legion Department of Michigan Wounded Warrior Retreat Project
By Gary Tanner, Reconnect Committee Chairman
The Department of Michigan Reconnect Committee in cooperation with ACO Hardware of Michigan, the Michigan Psychological Association Foundation and the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau has launched another new and innovative program to better serve Michigan’s veterans, service members and their families.
The Michigan Wounded Warrior Retreat program is designed to provide Wounded and returning Warriors and their families with a relaxing weekend away to help relieve some of the stress associated with Combat injuries. It can be extremely difficult coping with such injuries and the new normal that these families are forced to deal with. The Michigan Wounded Warrior Retreat program will provide a pleasant distraction and some critical family bonding time in a peaceful and relaxing Northern Michigan setting. We are very fortunate that one of Michigan’s most beautiful locations…Mackinac Island has agreed to join us in honoring these great Men and Women who have given up so much for each of us by defending Justice Freedom and Democracy around the world. Like the American Legion Department of Michigan, ACO is firmly committed to supporting our veterans, our military and our communities. For the past two years, ACO Hardware stores throughout the state have collected monetary donations from their customers from mid-May until the Fourth of July weekend in support of the Department of Michigan Reconnect Committee’s Wounded Warrior Retreat project resulting in a total of $40,000.00 donation. The Reconnect Committee contacted the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau with a proposal to offer our wounded warriors and their families a discounted package on the island to allow these families time to relax and spend some all important quality time together. Mackinac Island not only consented, but they offered the American Legion Department of Michigan two 2-night stays with all meals included at either the Murray Hotel or The Inn on Mackinac each month. All monetary donations to this program will be used to take care of all associated costs with these retreats as well as to conduct Veteran and Caregiver retreats in conjunction with community educational presentations about the recognition, symptoms and successful treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury, (TBI), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD).
Mackinac Island in conjunction with the Department of Michigan’s newly acquired Trout Lake property and the donations collected by ACO Hardware should provide a great addition to Michigan’s commitment to serving our Veterans and their families. We look forward to additional resort locations consenting to support this project by partnering with the American Legion to provide complimentary or low cost packages to our returning warriors and their families.
The Michigan Psychological Association Foundation has partnered with the American Legion Dept. of Michigan to provide critical services to our Wounded Veterans, Service Members and their families during the Veteran Retreats, Caregiver Retreats and educational seminars all designed to help these families cope with the added difficulties of living with physical and emotional Combat related wounds.
The Reconnect Committee has continued to work closely with other Department of Michigan Committees such as Heroes to Hometowns, Public Relations, V.A. & R. and our State Service Officers in order to facilitate the quickest and most comprehensive care possible for our returning warriors.
Dept. Reconnect Committee
The American Legion Department of Michigan
The American Legion Department of Michigan represents over 70,000 members in the State of Michigan. The American Legion was founded in 1919, based on “The Four Pillars”; veteran rehabilitation, Americanism, child welfare, and national security and continued above all its mission as a consumers’ advocate for veterans. For more information contact the Michigan Legion at 517-371-4720 ext 16, email@example.com, or visit our website at www.michiganlegion.org.