USO Garden Works Leads Recovery through Nature

If you or someone you know is seeking assistance for substance use, contact the Military Crisis Line at 988, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255.

In service to our nation, our military must fight battles both visible and invisible. Since 1941, the USO has been by their side through them all. As we learn more about how the stressors of service can lead to addiction, the USO family at Fort Belvoir is helping our soldiers heal from their invisible wounds.

USO Garden Works, our team of Master Gardeners and green thumbs at the USO Warrior & Family Center at Fort Belvoir, created the Nature-Based Therapy Program to support soldiers through the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital’s addiction recovery program.

By learning the cultivation of home gardens, participants develop and appreciate the resiliency of nature in a way that creates impactful life lessons along the way. Keep reading to see just a taste of what our soldiers took away from this wonderful program.

Remember that the progress isn’t instant, and the journey is as great as the goal” –M.

Nature-Based Therapy teaches not only the value of growth, but the virtue that makes it possible: patience. As we cultivate our home gardens step-by-step over a full growing season, our soldiers can develop an appreciation for the process. Learning that growth takes time is a key to creating positive habits and changes that our members not only take to heart, but keep there forever.

Keep fighting. You’re worth it!” –C.

More than a buzzword, resiliency is at the core of Nature-Based Therapy. The need to keep fighting through every battle and overcome any obstacle is what drives our Armed Forces and their families through the challenges of service.

But while Military Service instills an appreciation for fighting for our nation, lessons of natural resiliency help our soldiers appreciate the need to fight for themselves.

“We are all in this together. A family forever.” –N.

Family is crucial to wellness and recovery. The realities of service often mean that our military must fight these battles far from their loved ones - But with the USO, they never have to fight them alone.

For over 80 years we’ve been right alongside our military wherever they are in the world. As a result we’ve developed deeply-engrained relationships with our Armed Forces. That’s why, at the USO, we don’t have customers: We have family. By using that idea in all of our programs, we ensure that our service members always have the support systems they need and deserve.

“I’ll never forget everything this place did for me.” –M.

At the USO, our mission isn’t just to serve, it’s to strengthen. Our work is never done, but when it creates an impact that stays with a servicemember forever and continues to guide them as they transition from military life, we say: Mission Accomplished.

Since 1941, the USO has been the nation’s leading organization to serve the men and women in the U.S. military. From the moment they join, through their assignments and deployments, and as they transition back to their communities, the USO is always by their side. Make your impact by joining our USO volunteer family or making a charitable donation today.

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