2024 Spring Newsletter CEO Message - Warriors & Quiet Waters
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2024 Spring Newsletter CEO Message

As we step into the vibrancy of spring, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and excitement for what lies ahead. Reflecting on our journey through 2023, a year of remarkable growth and transformation, I am reminded of the power of our shared mission. Central to this mission are people like you - our donors and volunteers, the true heroes of the WQW mission. Their unwavering support and dedication have made our past, present, and future possible. Your contributions have been instrumental in the success of Built for More, a program that stands out for its innovative approach to veteran well-being.

Built for More is not merely a program; it's a revolution in veteran support, thoughtfully designed to address the complex tapestry of challenges our Warriors face upon returning home. Distinct in its approach and founded on empirically rigorous research on human well-being, Built for More empowers Warriors to build strength in the pillars of a thriving life while harnessing the regenerative power of nature to forge a path of well-being that extends beyond conventional approaches. Built for More encompasses a multifaceted approach to well-being, emphasizing life satisfaction, connection, belonging, and purpose over traditional methods that often fall short.

Our program's innovation is mirrored in the year-long journey it offers, empowering veterans to dive deep into personal growth, develop mental fortitude, and craft a life of purpose. Built for More is anchored in the belief that crafting a life of meaning and purpose is an intentional and ongoing process – a guided investment our Warriors participants make in their own lives. It integrates scientifically backed models of holistic wellness, facilitating a profound exploration of self, supported by our dedicated team and the serene backdrop of Montana’s waterways and landscapes.

The results speak for themselves. Through a rigorous evaluation process in partnership with Syracuse University, we've documented significant advancements in our participants' well-being. These achievements underscore the efficacy of Built for More in addressing the complex needs of veterans, catalyzing their transition from surviving to thriving.

Empowering our veterans is paramount for fostering thriving families, communities, and, by extension, a stronger nation. Their success stories are a testament to the resilience and potential that lie within, serving as beacons of hope and exemplars of purpose-driven living.

After I got out of the military, I hit the lowest point in my life. I lost my purpose, identity, confidence, and worth. I was alone and dealing with some serious trauma that nearly became fatal. I was trying my best, but without clear guidance and direction, I was floundering alone trying to sort out life after the military. Now more than ever, I see a path ahead to success and fulfillment with a clear way forward.” -WQW Warrior Alum

In an era marked by division and uncertainty, the unity and resolve demonstrated by our veterans remind us of the enduring values that underpin our society. Thriving veterans make America stronger and are essential to maintain the all-volunteer force that keeps our Nation safe.

The Built for More program contributes to the health of the all-volunteer force and national security by ensuring veterans thrive post-service. Built for More honors participant sacrifices and, in doing so, affirms the value of military service to the next generation. By breathing life into the narrative of combat veterans thriving after war – leading, building, and serving their communities – we demonstrate that military service is valued and valuable, inspiring the next generation to serve. This imperative is underscored by the reminder laid bare by the sacrifice of our war dead and their families: despite its many imperfections, America is worth fighting for.

As we move forward, let us recommit ourselves to this noble cause. The path we've chosen is not just about aiding our veterans in their journey toward healing and purpose; it's about reinforcing the pillars of our Republic and uniting in our resolve to forge a brighter, more inclusive future - together.

With gratitude and determination,

Brian Gilman

Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Chief Executive Officer