Heather Ehle is executive director of Project Sanctuary, a program designed to help military families heal. With no military background herself, Heather saw families struggling to readjust to civilian life after deployments. She now coordinates retreats, centered in Colorado, to reconnect families and give them support to thrive. Heather describes herself as politically agnostic, which she defines as “having been to Washington one too many times.”
“I believe that everybody innately knows what they need in order to be happy and successful, but we don’t always stop to listen.”
We had a combat veteran who was really struggling at the healthy marriage retreat. You could see the internal struggle. Our counselor pulled him aside and said, “What is going on?” He said, “I am battle ready. I knew I would die for my country. I knew who was on my right, who was on my left, who had my back. I knew what to do. I come home, and I’m not there. At work, I was not a quitter. I would never, ever quit.”
The counselor looked at him, and said, “How many times have you been divorced?” He said, “Oh God, I’ve been divorced three times. I am a quitter.” He said, “Is there a way to take me from battle ready to family ready? Can we do that?” It’s all about training. It’s all about giving them that direction and help.
Peace means being still and listening. It’s a calming, sacred place where good things happen. We try to do that at Project Sanctuary. We create an opportunity for families to experience peace, reconnect with who they are and where they need to go, and find a little bit of hope.
Heather Ehle short audio clip
Heather Ehle full audio
- Are you part of a military family or do you know someone who has served in the military? Talk about that relationship and what makes it unique.
- Do you believe that you innately know what you need in order to be happy and successful?
- Are you more focused on what you do or who you are? How closely are those two intertwined in your mind?
- Have you ever gone through a transition in life from everything being mapped out for you to a much less structured lifestyle? What was that transition like? What lasting effect did it have on you?
- When is the last time you were able to be still and “reconnect with who you are”? What insights did you gain about yourself through that experience?