In December 2006, the pastor of Park Valley Church https://www.parkvalleychurch.com/ in Haymarket, Virginia, asked the church small group leaders to organize a unique community service project. One group decided to host a “taste-of-home” Christmas celebration for service members undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center … now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This event ignited a passion in the hearts of everyone involved, and it was decided to continue hosting similar events at military hospitals throughout the National Capital Area. In 2012, the idea to establish a dedicated retreat property for the warriors was envisioned. As a first step, the two leaders of the original church group founded Serve Our Willing Warriors as a 501 (c)(3) organization.
In March 2013 a large, aging house, situated on 37 acres of land, was acquired to serve as the lodging house of a dedicated retreat facility. Once again, the intention was to provide a taste-of-home experience for our recovering Warriors but this time, in the form of a relaxing getaway from the medical center environment. Following a two-year labor of love involving the help of more than 1000 individuals and the in-kind donations of 120 contractors and building suppliers, renovation work on the house was completed.
Willing Warriors dramatically expanded the scope of its services on July 4, 2015, by opening the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run as a temporary “home-away-from-home” for recovering service members and their families. The special programs and services offered at the retreat are designed to inspire the warrior’s in the journey to rebuilding their lives. The original small group of volunteers has grown into a coalition of individuals, small businesses, corporations, churches, and other organizations throughout the Northern Virginia that help to provide the services we offer.
provide cost-free retreat stays and programs that positively impact wounded, ill, or injured service members, disabled veterans, and their families.
The average hospital stay for our recovering warriors is about 300 days. Following the healing of physical wounds, many of them are challenged with the “invisible wounds” of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for a lifetime.
Willing Warriors is a 501 (C)(3) charitable organization offering cost-free getaways from the hospital environment where the warriors and their families can come to relax, spend quality time together, and reconnect. Our programs include more than 60 cost-free educational and recreational activities, including seminars that address the issues of dealing with PTS and TBI. The intended outcome of these retreat stays is the warrior and their family members return to the routine of rebuilding their lives feeling refreshed and inspired.