Isolation has certainly taken a toll on many of us. Our schedules have completely changed, we now work from home, and many of us are struggling with the mental effects that accompany isolation and lack of social interaction. We believe one of our most at-risk communities during this time is the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country: our military veterans.
Everyday resources that veterans and their families typically have access to are now more limited than ever. The closures of schools, parks, gyms, and businesses have disrupted everyday routines. This disruption has led to replacing healthy habits and routines with different coping mechanisms due to limited options.
As an organization that supports veterans and their families, it’s the Travis Mills Foundation’s job to continue to engage these families as often as possible to ensure they aren’t overlooked.
Community and camaraderie
Much like the military experience, we believe that veterans thrive in environments based on community and camaraderie.
“A pandemic that forces quarantine and encourages separation takes that immediate sense of physical community away,” said Kelly Roseberry, PT, DPT, and program director of the Travis Mills Foundation.
Organizations like ours have had to pivot to virtual programming to continue to help our veteran families feel connected and engaged from a distance. Although there is disruption, we still work to create a virtual environment to support others.
The Travis Mills Foundation supports Post-9/11 recalibrated veterans and their families at our retreat in Maine. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and state mandates, hosting our physical retreat this summer was not a viable option. As many businesses and organizations have adjusted to national and state mandates, we have also done the same.
To respond to the issues our veterans face, we have implemented our Modified Recalibrate Program. This program has given us the opportunity to continue to support recalibrated veteran families through a virtual experience.
We have been active on our private social media groups in hosting workouts, yoga, cooking, pen pals, book clubs, and more. In addition, we have helped recalibrated veteran families by setting up food delivery, home improvement projects, fishing equipment, adaptive equipment for activities, and community support.
Although most didn’t anticipate the effects that stem from a lack of social interaction, many organizations are improving each day to continue offering their services virtually. We have to continue to listen, learn, and improve each day to ensure that we are able to provide the correct resources for our veteran community.
The Travis Mills Foundation continues to ensure that we continue offering engaging options for support, and finds creative ways to provide healthy routines to help create new habits. Many have come so far and we can’t stop now.