“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Josh served in the Army’s Mortuary Affairs division and struggles with post-traumatic stress and nightmares as a result.
Many Veterans like Josh suffer with the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and moral injury—often forcing them and their families into isolation.
That’s why Joni and Friends created Warrior Getaways, unique retreats designed to provide a safe space for respite, community, and healing.
Josh recalls feeling apprehensive before coming to Warrior Getaway. As he put it:
“I was very nervous about attending Warrior Getaway…Where do I fit in? Because for me, the job I did in the military was a support role. I was not on the front lines getting shot at. In Mortuary Affairs, I took care of fallen soldiers and got them home to their families to be buried.
Warrior Getaway was very powerful for me because the Veterans accepted each other. They don’t see any position as less than the other. Everyone was there together and served together and had a mission. That was really a relief to me.”
Warrior Getaway helped Josh, his wife Michelle, and his family turn to God for healing, but his family’s connection to Joni and Friends goes even deeper…
Veteran families like Josh’s thrive at Family Retreat:
Josh and Michelle’s daughter Alex has Rett syndrome—a rare genetic neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments. Raising a child with a disability comes with many challenges. For Josh, coping with the realities of disability proved especially difficult.
“As the father of a child with a disability, I try to shove everything down and pretend everything is fine for our family. I try to be the strong one,” says Josh.
But at Family Retreat, Josh and Michelle can let their guard down and spend time together, take walks, and reconnect in their marriage. Being in care groups strengthens their walk with Christ and helps them to learn from other families.
Both Family Retreat and Warrior Getaway help Josh and Michelle feel normal, cared for, and loved.
Josh shared: “I don’t open up and share things with Michelle from the war. Warrior Getaway gave her the opportunity to understand a little better what I went through. Warrior Getaway is the one time I get to focus on dealing with what I’m going through while giving me the chance to grow closer to God.”
Your support allows families struggling with disability to grow closer to each other and closer still to Christ! When you give to Joni and Friends New Mexico you provide paths to healing and thriving to Veteran families and special needs families.