Warrior Songs is honored to host an upcoming Creative Arts Healing Retreat for Women Veterans coping with MST. The 2019 retreat will be held November 20th - 24th at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Five experienced facilitators will lead 16 female veterans through this 4-day, all-inclusive healing weekend. For more information on Warrior Songs Creative Arts Retreats, visit: https://warriorsongs.org/retreats
For 4 days, attending veterans use the creative arts to share the stories of their journey. We start with bootcamp, move all the way to deployment and finally to returning--- as a different person tham who left and the new battle they face with the enemies like PTSD and MST. Each phase of service and integration is explored through a different art modality- sometimes written and other times visual art. Warrior Songs also offers the Story to Song program during the retreat; creating a song with the group from their experiences and shared testimonies of service and sacrifice. Songs created on past retreats can be heard featured on “If You Have to Ask… Warrior Songs Vol 1”, “Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2”, all online music retailers -and- www.warriorsongs.org
Warrior Songs' retreats have been structured on the work of our good friend, Dr. Ed Tick. In his book “War and The Soul”, Dr. Tick outlines the Warriors' journey and points to how good society is at sending our service members off to war- but, how we often fail at welcoming them home. He points out the need for civilians to share the burden and responsibility for the actions of the veterans who went to war and served in their name. It’s an oversimplification of Dr. Tick’s work, but put simply, in order for veterans to heal from the psychological and emotional wounds of war, veterans need to be able to communicate the truth of their experience and civilians need to hear it. This is the final step in bringing our veterans home.
Warrior Songs retreats culminate with an art show and presentation open to the public and gathered community to come see -and- hear the works of each healing service member. The 2019 art show will take place at La Casa at the Franciscan Renewal Center at 7pm on November 23rd, 2019. Warrior Songs invites you to mark your calendars to hear the truth of these warriors and welcome them each home!
What is MST?
According to the Veterans Administration, National Center for PTSD, 1 in 4 women -and- 1 in 100 men have reported being sexually assaulted in the military. Although, for men it is more likely, to be much higher, based on underreporting, due to the shame that results. The VA refers to, military sexual trauma or MST, as sexual assault or harassment experienced during military service. The experience ranges from sexual harassment, being threatened or pressured, into sexual activities, being touched, in a way that makes one uncomfortable, sexual contact without consent, such as when asleep or intoxicated, and being physically forced, to have sex (rape).
Most women, who have experienced MST, have also been diagnosed, with post-traumatic-stress-disorder, and live in a world of isolation and disconnection, anxiety, depression, self-blame and shame, chronic physical health problems, and homelessness. Unfortunately, many feel resentment towards the military, the VA, and as a result do not identify themselves as being a veteran.
The VA offers traditional inpatient and outpatient treatment - along with medication, psychoeducational groups and recreational therapy. Although, these are still limited services for women MST survivors seeking treatment in a non-threatening environment, at times and in conjunction with the traditional treatment, a more holistic approach, for the mind, body, spirit--- such as yoga, equine, art & music therapy with social supports and connections is found to be more effective and long-lasting healing for MST survivors.
Why the Creative Arts?
Healing from MST and PTSD requires processing the experience and the trauma, but recounting their experience in a detailed linear account often aggravates PTSD. Many are triggered by the memory and so they try to repress the memories. They isolate, they avoid, they self-medicate…they do everything they can to not remember. PTSD from MST makes it very difficult for veterans to talk about their experience. But, there are other ways to get to the trauma that doesn’t require a linier detailed account.... enter the creative arts! Creative arts allows you to paint a feeling, or the part of the story you are ready to tell. Also, when we show the art, we communicate truth without having to be the subject of the conversation. Instead of the listener looking at the military veteran eye to eye, (which can be disempowering and very uncomfortable) both the civilian and the veteran can look at the artwork together--- adding a layer of protection for the veteran. The creative arts allow the veteran to explore what they are ready to talk about in a way that isn’t as triggering as traditional talk therapy. Integrated into the retreat programming is educational pieces about how PTSD effects the brain and symptom management methods such as relaxation, mindfulness and breathing techniques.
How much does the retreat cost the attending veterans?
That’s the best part--- it’s completely free to any veteran who applies with an honest desire to heal. The 2019 retreat focuses on female veterans coping with MST. Warrior Songs provides transportation, lodging, activities and meals. The art supplies are all provided and the veterans need absolutely no art experience to participate. All the veteran needs to do is show up. It may sound simple - but, we have witnessed miraculous healing from these retreats. Veterans write us afterwards to tell us how much Warrior Songs has changed their lives.
How much does it cost Warrior Songs to host?
Founder, Jason Moon and the Warrior Songs team has assembled a fantastic staff of facilitators --- all donating their time and expertise to this year's retreat. In total, the 2019 retreat will cost $20,000. (See 'Budget' below.)
It’s important to remember that every penny counts. No donation is too small to help. Warrior Songs is a 501(c)3 non-profit; donations are tax-deductible as contributions of charitable giving, consult your tax advisor for more information. This is Warrior Songs' 4th facilitated creative arts retreat; we have witnessed amazing healing transformations in the veterans who attended past retreats.
Highlights from the Warrior Songs Creative Arts Retreat - Racine, WI, 2017 (PTSD):
*Disclaimer: Veterans pictured and shared by Warrior Songs have given permission for their images and testimonies to be used.
Warrior Songs Creative Arts Retreat - Scottsdale, AZ - November 2019 Staff
• Lin Daley – Civilian – Art Therapist
• Linda MacLeish – Civilian – Therapist
• Graciela Marroquin – Veteran – MST Survivor/Victor
• Heath Phillips – Veteran – MST Survivor/Victor
• Jason Moon – Veteran – Founder of Warrior Songs
• Ellicia Romo – Civilian – Lead Fundraiser
• Shana Smith - Civilian – Warrior Songs Assistant Executive Producer – Fundraiser
November 2019 CAR Budget:
• Retreat Center Lodging
》14 Veterans (Double) x 4 days $5,544.00
》4 Staff (Double) x 4 days $1,585.00
》2 (Single) x 4 days $2,208.00
Lodging subtotal: $9,337.00
La Casa | Franciscan Renewal Center Discount = -$3,437.00
》Breakfast 20 People x 4 Days $840.00
》Lunch 20 People x 4 Days $1,080.00
》Dinner 20 People x 4 Days $1,280.00
Food subtotal: $3,200.00
• Meeting Space
》Working Room $1,600.00
》Planning Room $300.00
》Art Show Room $400.00
Room rental subtotal: $2,300.00
》Air Travel Staff x 3 $1,500.00
》Air Travel Veterans x 2 $1,000.00
》Travel Support Veterans x 14 $1,400.00
Travel subtotal: $3,900.00
》Art Supplies $1,500.00
Cost per Veteran: $1,250.00
*Note: Gofundme does not allow for the addition of offline donations to this campaign - so, we will reduce the campaign goal to reflect each offline donation received and update here:
To offer the retreat free of charge to the veterans, Warrior Songs will raise $20,000.
☆ Funding Goal remaining: $8450
》$1,525 Current GoFundMe
》 $  raised offline at October 4th's Rhythm Roundup Benefit Concert
》$  raised offline at August 18th's Kendra Scott Gives Back Even
》$1,100 Unity Church of Overland Park
》$860 American Legion Auxiliary Post 196
》$250 Casino Arizona
》$4,250 raised through Facebook: July Wellness Warrior Challenge
》$540 raised offline at July Wellness Warriors Wine Tasting Fundraiser
》$1,525 raised through Facebook: Memorial Day Fundraiser
》$1,500 raised offline at May 4th's Backyard Boogie Benefit Concert
Organizations, Businesses, VFWs, American Legions, Churches, Individuals, Community Partnerships--- consider helping a military veteran attend the Warrior Songs retreat! As a "Thank You" for every veteran fully sponsored to attend ($1,250), donors will be gifted a 90 minute Warrior Songs performance with Jason Moon to be scheduled for a future, arranged date!
Info on Warrior Songs Community Education & Entertainment, here: https://warriorsongs.org/ptsd-community-education-entertainment
Full Moon Music presents the Music of Jason Moon, here: https://fullmoonmusic.org/home
For questions or additional info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org