WNY retreat helping military families this weekend

May 28, 2017

Couples from all over the United States whose lives have been affected by the military are in Java Center this holiday weekend for a retreat sponsored by Project Sanctuary.

The goal is to help veterans and their families adjust to civilian life.

Eighty percent of the veterans participating in these retreats deal with post-traumatic stress or injuries resulting from their service.

Project Sanctuary administrator Ronie Huddleston says veterans need to share their war experience with family.

“Unfortunately it’s kind of like a cancer. It starts small but it ends big," Huddleston explained. "The communication side is so vital to get these family members talking again with their veterans and let the veterans know its ok to let the families know what happened. You don’t have to go to gory details, but you still got to let them in.”

Huddleston says they started giving healthy communication classes after several veterans asked for it.

Huddleston became  administrator and a peer mentor coach with Project Sanctuary after graduating from its program. He says it not only changed his life, but the life of his entire family for the better.

“My own son, just joined the army about 8 months ago. That means the world to me because my son is going to be in a healthier spot right off the bat in his military career because he does understand what he’s going to be facing," Huddleston said. "Watching his father heal and healing with his father is going to give him the tools to better handle what he’s facing.”

The retreat runs through Tuesday.