Service members and their Families learned about a variety of resiliency techniques during a USO of North Carolina Warrior Reset program held at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, March 9.
Kelli Willoughby, USO of NC Warrior and Family Programs director said the three day, dynamic, hands-on resiliency and leadership training gives service members and spouses from throughout the state the leadership skills to help themselves personally as well as members within their unit, home or community.
“We touch on things like relationship development, fitness and nutrition,” Willoughby said. “We try to do alternative therapies like art, dance, yoga and therapeutic horticulture.”
She explained that the Warrior Reset program reinforces the same resiliency skills that are taught and developed in other programs but with a twist as well as things that are not available on the installation.
The things they do are not things they would typically be taught in the military.
“(Within the military) there are not a lot of opportunities for them to go dig in the dirt and plant plants and learn how that can help with anger and stress management. There’s not a lot of units doing yoga every morning, or that use dance to tell their story,” Willoughby said.
Spc. Abel Torres, a radiology technician at Womack Army Medical Center, said the interpretive dance portion of the event was his favorite.
“It was very liberating in the sense that you could just move freely with your body — total body autonomy — which is completely the opposite of the Army,” he said.
A fan of any training involving resiliency, Torres said the Warrior Reset program was great refresher training.
“The knowledge of being able to bounce back from what happens to them (Soldiers) on a day-to day-basis is important to me,” he said.
Christina Robles attended the program with her husband Juan, a staff sergeant with the 44th Medical Brigade.
“We looked over the event information and there seemed to be a lot of really good information and so far it’s been wonderful,” Robles said.
The emotional intelligence training resonated with her, she said, and she has learned to be more self-aware and how to be in control of her own attitude toward things.
The USO of NC hosts four Warrior Reset events throughout the year in Fayetteville and Jacksonville, North Carolina. The next program is set for May in Jacksonville.
Commanders help identify the service members who are leaders or up-and-coming leaders within their unit to attend the program, Willoughby said.
Commanders who are interested in sending one of their troops to the training can contact Willoughby directly at Kelli Willoughby firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can visit a USO of North Carolina center. The Fort Bragg center is located on the first floor of Soldier Support Center and can be reached at 495-1437.
“I would definitely recommend anyone coming out, this is pretty cool,” Robles said. “Even though this is different from the normal types of out-of-town retreats we go on, this has been the most educational.”