Operation Purple Healing Adventures Reconnects Families After Injury or Illness


Nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountains is YMCA Camp Shady Brook. Earlier this month, this mountain side campsite hosted Operation Purple Healing Adventures—a weekend-long retreat designed for families of wounded, ill, or injured service members that allow them to reconnect, have fun, and enjoy togetherness after an injury or illness.

Operation Purple Healing Adventures, which was graciously sponsored by USAA, served 18 families whose service member sustained wounds while on active duty. The families, who came from nearly all service branches—including Army, Air Force, and National Guard—traveled from Arizona, Minnesota, Kansas, and all over Colorado to take part in NMFA’s one-of-a-kind retreat experience.

While at camp, the families experienced both traditional and unique camp activities. The camp opened with a delicious dinner followed by a camp fire and s’mores overlooking the beautiful mountains and valleys. The next day, the families engaged in a resiliency training offered by the American Red Cross, and enjoyed activities like archery, arts and crafts, a ropes course, climbing wall, swimming, canoeing, hiking, rappelling, ziplining, and even tomahawk throwing! In the evenings, families spent time playing games and bonding by the campfire.

Operation Purple Healing Adventures allowed families to disconnect from stressors at home, enjoy their family, and connect with other families who share similar experiences. An 8-year-old Healing Adventures attendee shared that he loved being at the retreat spending fun time with his dad, and just being a kid. Another Healing Adventures attendee shared that their family would never be able to afford a vacation, and attending the retreat was the best vacation they could imagine because it allowed them purposeful time for rest and relaxation.

Thank you to the USAA Foundation for supporting such a wonderful weekend of healing and adventures.

Posted by Emily Lappat, Corporate Giving Officer

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