When the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station was born, I could only ever dream of what it could become. What started out as finding basic essentials for the wounded at the Balboa Naval Medical Center San Diego, has grown into a life-changing support system, not only for these Warriors but for me too. The stories and wounds that Warriors bring home are only a part of their full story. We want to provide the essentials that are needed as these men and women come “home” from battle and service. But it’s more than just the basics; I want to help them transition from a life of service to civilian life. It is a fear of mine that Warriors awaiting their medical retirement will be forgotten and slip through the cracks. And so, we created a supportive environment to fill whatever void they might be facing. We currently have two facilities to serve, assist and support our Warriors and yes, even their family.
Here’s a little bit about our Freedom Station facilities:
Freedom Station I
When a soldier first arrives at the Freedom Station, I want them to feel at home. Each of our housing units is fully furnished and decorated, all the way down to the place settings on their dining table. It’s important for these men and women to live independently, however we can do that. Having the basic living essentials takes the soldiers out of the “barracks” life and into independent living. What sets us apart from other programs and housing options is that we provide these Warriors with a lifestyle they can transition into before their military medical retirement, rather than after.
While each of these housing units provides each Warrior with much-needed privacy, I knew how important it is to establish a sense of community, so we made sure to include areas around the facility to allow everyone to gather. The camaraderie and sense of community are just as crucial for these men and women as it is to feel independent. We have scheduled gatherings to give them an opportunity to share stories, find support among their peers and overall feel that they are being supported.
Freedom Station II
Freedom Station II holds a special place in my heart. If you look around, every aspect of this compound has a purpose or intention. The eagles, for example. These weren’t the original ones that were chosen. When designing the location, I wanted something to reflect the strength of these men and women. I wanted Eagles. But when they showed up, I was less than thrilled. They weren’t strong enough. They weren’t courageous enough. I wanted my Warriors to feel pride. The eagles you see around this station are a result of that. An eagle in action. Fierce, in control; strong.
But another important aspect of a soldier feeling strong is having family and loved ones around to help and support them as they recover and/or go through treatment. But I wanted to take the stress and burden off of them when they came to visit. So, Freedom Station II provides that comfort. The Legacy house is a cozy spot that families can stay at while their family member is healing/recovering from combat, an illness or an injury. Set up with all the essentials just like the housing units, families and Warriors can feel at home while learning to live a new life.
The complex is similar to Freedom Station I in that each housing unit gives Warriors a sense of independence, while set up in a compound that invites fellowship and camaraderie.
Freedom Station III
With our two facilities up and running, it only made sense that we wanted to do more. Warriors are in need, and we want to continue to help as many of them as we possibly can. This is why we have been actively searching for Freedom Station III. It excites me in more ways than I can count. I can continue to welcome Warriors in, learn more about the service these men and women have given to our country, and provide as much relief for them as possible. But most importantly, we will have that much more room to support these Warriors and help them transition during their recovery process.
While each Freedom Station is different, each complex is designed with the same goal in mind, to make sure our Warriors are cared for, know they are valued, and help them grow and succeed in a new life.
CEO & Founder & CEO
Warrior Foundation Freedom Station