This blog is written by Paula Edwards, Project Coordinator & Technical Editor for the U.S. Army PEO STRI

project-odyssey-graphic-2013-smallI served as a colonel in the U.S. Army in the 87th Army Reserve Support Command as the human resources and public relations director for 5,000 soldiers and Army civilians in 24 states. I understand how hard it is to come to terms with lost physical abilities. These physical losses also affect your mental health and well-being. While I can fool most people most of the time, ultimately I cannot fool myself.

Many of us have heard of the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that offers various programs and services for wounded veterans of the military actions following 9/11. As a post 9/11 veteran, I decided to reach out to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) for support. I originally applied for the WWP Women’s Empowerment Weekend, but am excited to share that, instead I have been selected to attend Project Odyssey next week. I am telling my news to make others aware of the support WWP can provide, specifically the Project Odyssey program.

Known to “recharge, rediscover and re-engage,” Project Odyssey is a regional event where fellow warriors take the first steps to recovery over a 5-day period. The name was derived from Homer’s epic poem about overcoming adversity and finding the way home. Taking place in Long Creek Lake, South Carolina, this year, Project Odyssey uses nature and recreational activities, including horseback riding, canoeing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, a high ropes course, fishing, skeet shooting, sled hockey, and skiing, to heal the spirit.

Through these activities, veterans discover inner strength and find courage to continue their journey to combat stress and improve mental outlook, while experiencing a connection with nature, peers, WWP staff, and trained counselors.

I’ve heard nothing but great things about this program. They don’t push you beyond your physical limits and have adaptive methods for accommodations. I’ve seen and been through a lot of crazy things and am so glad I was selected to attend and experience Project Odyssey. And they say the program does not end with the retreat…it’s only the beginning.

For more information on Project Odyssey, please contact