Cardinal Retreats will host six war veteran couples to help rebuild healthy relationships that have been torn apart as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, at its first Maine residential workshop, from Nov. 8 to 14 at Point Lookout Resort & Conference Center in Northport.

The residential retreat will feature Candace Green, who has over 25 years of experience and proven results as an expert in the field of personal and group transformation, as lead therapist. Green will be joined by colleagues and counselors Rob Pfeiffer, M.Ed., RC, and founder of Veterans Helping Veterans, and Gary Chapin, M.S., LCPS, LADC, NBCCH. Sapokniona Whitefeather, Holy Woman, will serve as spiritual director of the event.

“While the veteran couples will be spending many of the seven days behind closed doors addressing PTSD symptoms and finding much needed relief, we wanted to take a few hours out of the retreat to come together as a community to celebrate their courage and thank them for their service. This is an integral part of their therapy and is key to helping them reintegrate fully into community living. To help us do that, we have created two surprise, family-friendly events,” said Green in a press release.

The community is invited to attend both of these events, free of charge. The first event is a Surprise Veterans Day Parade, planned for Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. in Belfast. As part of their therapy, the veterans will have been constructing a symbol to represent what it has felt like to address and heal issues that many have been carrying for over 40 years. What they don’t know is that this symbol will be mounted on a ‘float’ and that they will be invited to ride on that float in the Belfast Veterans Day Parade.

According to Green, “None of the couples have had this opportunity since the Vietnam War…. as we know, the service men and women were shunned upon their arrival back to the states, and there was no parade to meet them. Come welcome them on Veterans Day, Nov.11 to show them your support and to have a great day with your family at the parade!”

The second event will take place at Point Lookout in the gymnasium on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. (arrive early as seats are limited). The Gym Dandies will perform a circus for the veteran couples to celebrate and honor them. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this event, free of charge. The Gym Dandies have performed at the Macy’s Day Parade, as well as at the Maine Lobster Festival.

Both of these events are family-friendly and free of charge. For more information, please contact Cardinal Retreats Program Director Denyse Robinson at 975-5325.

Cardinal Retreats is a service organization dedicated to providing education, stress management tools and relationship counseling for war veterans, veteran couples and military families. Based in Camden, the organization helps veterans release their negative experiences of war, re-establish healthy relationships with loved ones and reintegrate fully into family and community living, through seven-day therapeutic residential retreats and online support.

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