Warrior Caregiver and Family Retreat Program
The Warrior, Caregiver, and Family Retreat is the longest standing program of the Wounded Warrior Anglers benefiting the entire family of its members. The first official outing took place in July 2012 with six wounded warriors, two caregivers and one of the warrior’s daughter.
The goal of the retreat is to bring the warriors together in a very relaxing atmosphere, while enjoying a day out on the water fishing with some local captains. While the warriors are treated to fishing, their caregivers are also provided with a relaxing day at the spa with massages, facials, hair and make-up, pedicures and manicures, courtesy of Spa 33 in Matlacha.
The retreat is typically held over three days, with Friday offering a captain’s dinner, so everyone can get to know one another. Each warrior also receives their own rod and reel combo during a special presentation.
Saturday the warriors and caregivers are treated to breakfast before the festivities begin. Later that afternoon the warriors are reunited with their caregivers for a fish fry – fish the warriors catch while out on the water, all while sharing how their day unfolded.
The September 2015 retreat did wonders for the Beesting couple – Alicia and Danny. “It’s nice to be able to get out together. We don’t do very much things together,” Alicia said. “Even with him fishing, being out on the water with the guys . . . it’s healing for him and it’s healing for me knowing that he’s out there talking. It could be about football, I don’t care, but he is out of the house.”
A day of pampering gave Alicia the energy to tackle another week – another week taking care of her children and husband. “not knowing if I’m doing a good job. It’s easy to give up sometimes,” she said.
Although she loved being pampered, the retreat meant so much more to the mother and wife of three. The day meant that her husband, who now owns a fishing rod from the retreat, can spend time with his children fishing. “He is new to fishing, but it’s very therapeutic for him,” Alicia said. “I’m excited for him to learn new things and just to be out there more . . . to be himself. It is something that he can share with the kids. It is something that they can do together. That means the world.”