Walter Reed Soldier Recovery Unit

Three service members from the Walter Reed Soldier Recovery Unit recently visited Patriot Point for a weekday retreat that included a charter fishing outing and some relaxing time on the beach.

“The trip to Patriot Point was so far my best experience since been stationed here at Walter Reed’s SRU,” U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Roy Thompson said. “A day that started out with me been optimistic about whether or not I was going to have fun catching any fish ended with a blast. … We suddenly started catching a lot of fish and everyone was having so much fun. It was just a personal joy for me to see the smiles, encouragement and participation by everyone on the boat.”

Staff Sergeant Thompson also took the opportunity to use his drone and take photos and videos of the trip.

“Please sign me up for futures trips,” he said. “Thanks once again to the [Walter Reed] team for planning these getaways to help myself and others soldiers to relax our minds and not focus so much on the issues that cause us to be here.”

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Renee Butts was accompanied on the trip by her daughter and two grandchildren. They opted to hang out on the Patriot Point beach instead of going fishing.

“The level of peace and tranquility the time spent there will always remain near and dear to my heart,” Butts said. “I spent time walking along the beach, sitting enjoying the mindful moments the water so perfect. The staff was very welcoming, stayed out of sight just to allow the feeling of being at home in a peaceful environment. The day and the moment meant everything. So, I thank you so much for continuing to allow service members to enjoy so much of this well-needed peaceful and beautiful place.”

USO-Metro July 2021

USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore recently hosted a group of U.S. Army active-duty service members for a weekend retreat at Patriot Point.

The group included one service-member couple from Fort McNair and another from Fort Belvoir, as well as a nurse from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center accompanied by her aunt and eight-year-old daughter.

The group arrived on Friday and enjoyed a wonderful dinner, then spent Saturday taking in all that Patriot Point has to offer, including kayaking, fishing and crabbing off the pier and the new shooting range, where Patriot Point General Manager Hugh Middleton offered lessons on how to use firearms.

“It’s always nice to learn a little more from a retired Navy SEAL,” said Kyle Barr, Mobile Operations & Programs Manager for USO National Capital District. “It was a really relaxing weekend. Everybody got to much as little or as much as they wanted. It was exactly what they needed.”

Walter Reed July 2021

Five service members from the Walter Reed Soldier Recovery Unit recently visited Patriot Point for a day trip that included a charter fishing outing.

“We had enlisted to officers, people from all over the United States, even one from Jamaica. We had a really good mix of people who came, from all walks of life,” said Jenn Trantin, the unit’s recreational therapist.

“They loved it,” Trantin said. “Getting time away from Walter Reed is good for the emotional and mental health.”

After the fishing trip, the group enjoyed the Main House at Patriot Point, as the visitors played pinball and arcade games, enjoyed the outdoor decks and found peaceful relaxation time on the beach.

“It was an excellent way to relax and enjoy the outdoors at a well-maintained facility,” U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Devon Poole said. “I would encourage others to attend an outing at Patriot Point and enjoy all they have to offer.”

Warrior Reunion Foundation – July 2021

Warrior Reunion Foundation recently hosted a pair of weekend retreat visits bringing together soldiers who served together in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The reunions were absolutely spectacular and much of that is attributable to the absolutely perfect fit that Patriot Point is for our mission,” Warrior Reunion Founder + CEO James Ferguson said.

The first reunion was for 14 U.S. Navy veterans who served together in Riverine Squadron 3. The group arrived from across the country on a Friday and stayed through Monday.

“It was the best thing I could have done for myself personally, to come out here and reunite with the old guys,” Master Chief Petty Officer Ed Bennett said. “It was almost like we picked up right where we left off. It was really great to see where everyone is going and remind them we can lean on one another. … I’ve never been in such a nice place. It was perfect to do what we needed to do.”

The second reunion brought together 24 U.S. Army veterans and Gold Star Family members.

“Out of all the things I’ve done over the last 10 years to deal with that combat tour, this is probably the most therapeutic thing that I’ve done,” Lieutenant Colonel Steve Holmberg said. “It is great to see everyone, share stories and have a wonderful time.”

“It was the best experience of my life,” said Gold Star Mother Dolores Reed, whose son died while serving in Afghanistan. “It was such a healing experience. We felt so close to each other. It really made my heart feel good.”