By Annette P. Gomes Warrior Care and TransitionOctober 31, 2017
If ever there were an eighth wonder of the world named, staff members and cadre from the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson, Colo. say the Seven Falls -- a series of seven cascading waterfalls in Colorado Springs, would come close to landing the title.
Located in the South Cheyenne Canyon area of Colorado Springs, Seven Falls was the site of the Fort Carson WTB's second annual Spiritual Recharge Retreat. In order to ascend the falls, one has to climb more than 200 steps.
Chaplain Mary O'Malley says this journey takes a leap of faith.
"Even for those of us who don't have a healthy fear of heights, it is a climb of faith. Because we are a staff made up of Soldiers and civilians, we all have different physical abilities. Part of the joy of making it to the summit of the hike is that everyone who set off to get up there made it," O'Malley said. "We helped each other and encouraged one another to keep climbing. In some ways, this is what faith is all about; continuing the journey even when there is no telling how difficult the path will be."
Approximately 25 cadre and staff from Fort Carson's WTB participated in the event.
The group was composed of nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, squad leaders and other members of the chain of command. Though each of them have a different role in the unit, all of them work together to ensure that Soldiers in transition have every chance to heal their mind, body, and spirit.
"As providers and caregivers, we encourage our Soldiers in transition to foster and nurture their spirituality through a plethora of means, from attending religious services to spending time in nature. It is only right that we also take time to do the same," O'Malley said.
After one year of mobilization, Army Reservist and Nurse Case Manager, Cpt. Susan Tucci, attended this year's retreat.
"I am thankful that the WTB allowed us to do an activity like this. The Seven Falls hike is one example of how the Army recognizes Soldiers holistically," Tucci said. "This event was a team building activity that also gave me the opportunity to get some exercise and do some spiritual self-care."
Along with the hike, participants embarked on a scavenger hunt, walked the trails, and spent time bonding as a team.
"It was a holy experience. I title most opportunities like this one as resiliency events. The purpose is to build our spiritual and emotional resilience so that we are better prepared to serve our Soldiers in Transition," O'Malley said. "We all need opportunities for renewal. Spending time in the mountains reminded many of us that the sacred is always close. We just have to open our eyes and pay attention."