- October 7, 2019
- Posted by: Phil Block
- Category: USO and Military
This weekend I had the privilege of attending the annual Veteran’s Coming Home Retreat at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin. This retreat is for military veterans regardless of branch of service, rank, age, or type of duty.
The retreat is sponsored by Mayslake Ministries of Downers Grove, Illinois. They describe it as follows on their web site:
Coming Home: A Free Christian retreat program designed to help military men and women come to spiritual healing and reconciliation with God, themselves and with one another. There is NO charge for this retreat for our vets and their significant other. At this retreat, veterans are encouraged to share their story in a safe environment, in the company of other military. We invite you to watch the video for more information.
Two former Coming Home retreat participants have been deployed to their eternal duty station. They were with us in spirit, and their service honored by two military caps on a chair. Seventeen other veterans attended this weekend; the majority of them Vietnam-era vets. Younger vets with Iraq and/or Afghanistan deployments also participated.
The retreat was co-facilitatated by August “Augie” Sisco, a Marine infantry officer, and Linda McClenahan, aka “Sister Sarge,” a Racine Dominican Sister and former WAC. Both are Vietnam veterans. Sister Sarge makes fashion and attitudinal statements by wearing colorful socks. As a sign of appreciation for her work in developing and presenting this program, each member of the group gave her a pair of fancy socks to add to her wardrobe.
Attending this retreat was an emotional yet highly beneficial experience for me. I am very grateful to God and the sponsors of this event for making it possible for me to attend. Despite walking into the room on Friday night as a stranger, I left on Sunday accepted, supported, and a new member of a close family of those who have had the privilege of serving their country.