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Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to use this FAQ is to search for a keyword in your question using CTL+F or CMD+F (on Mac). Hopefully, you'll find the answer below, but if not, feel free to contact us!

DO I QUALIFY FOR AN AWA PROGRAM?

AWA programs support all Active Duty, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. AWA also accepts spouses of each of these service organizations.  We will request a copy of your DD214, or service identification card.  If you are not sure if you qualify, please ask. 

WHICH AWA PROGRAM SHOULD I ATTEND?

AWA provides seven different program opportunities each year.  

 

Men’s Program:  This program gives men an opportunity to reset, recharge, and build resiliency.  The Men’s Program helps bring healing to moral injuries as well.  The men’s program is great for married, single, and divorced men alike.  This program helps strengthen the relationship at home. 

Women’s Program:  This program gives women an opportunity to reset, recharge, and build resiliency.  The Women’s Program helps bring healing from trauma, occupational moral injuries, and struggles in life.  This program is great for married, single, divorced, and spouses alike.  This program offers practical application to receive self-help to take back to their family relationships. 

 

Marriage Program: This program gives married couples an opportunity to reset, recharge, and build resiliency.  Marriages find healing through love, grace, and forgiveness. The Marriage Program teaches participants healthy communication skills and shares compassion for the struggles both husband and wife endure during the course of service to our nation and community.  This program offers opportunities for couples to build lasting memories, receive marriage relationship training, engage in meaningful couples conversation time, and participate in couples counseling.  Some marriages may be in a place where participating in a Men’s Program or Women’s Program may be more beneficial for individual healing.

 

Family Program: This program strengthens the family bond through the creation of unique and fun experiences centered around love and family wellness.  This program offers family-focused activities and training to build healthy family relationships.  Each program location allows for different ages of children, and different size families.   

 

Adaptive Training Program:  The American Warrior Association partners with the Adaptive Training Foundation to support wounded warriors.  Contact us to see if you qualify.  You can also visit https://www.adaptivetrainingfoundation.org to find out how to get additional support.

 

Urban Explorers Program:   AWA will host a group of urban youth at the Freedom Lodge for the inaugural program this year.  This program teaches outdoorsmen skills and mentors our future generation in the values of freedom and love for one's nation.  

 

Expeditionary Program: AWA is currently developing a program for epic adventures at high adventure locations across the U.S.  Men will meet for a 3 to 4-day backpacking adventure at locations such as Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Redwoods to find refreshment and heal moral injuries through rigorous outdoor activities.  More information will be available soon. 

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND AN AWA PROGRAM?

Each program is completely free for participants thanks to the generous donations of our supporters. Each participant will book airfare prior to the program and submit receipts for reimbursement up to $500 per year. 

HOW CAN I REGISTER FOR AN AWA PROGRAM?

You can register directly on the AWA website at www.awa-usa.org/soul

DOES REGISTRATION GUARANTEE MY ACCEPTANCE TO A PROGRAM? 

No. Filling out the registration form is just the initial step in the process. Once your online application is submitted, one of our program directors will reach out to you for additional information and conduct a short intake interview. There are additional qualifications that need to be met during the interview process to determine if our program is the right fit at this time.  AWA continues to add more programs to support as many applicants as possible. 

 

CAN I REGISTER FOR MORE THAN ONE PROGRAM?  

Yes. Please check all the dates on you are interested in on the application.  When a program director contacts you for an intake interview, we will decide which date works best.  Dependent upon availability you may be able to participate in multiple programs. 

HOW LONG IS AN AWA PROGRAM?

AWA programs are generally 5 days long.  There are a few programs throughout the year that will be 3 or 4 days.  It is best to check the dates on the specific program you are interested in.  The AWA website lists the dates for each program .

WHERE ARE AWA PROGRAMS LOCATED?

The majority of AWA programs are conducted in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Some programs are hosted in Texas.  AWA is constantly expanding and developing programs in other states as well.  

 

HOW ARE AWA PROGRAMS STAFFED?

Men’s Programs are run by an entirely male, trained staff. Women’s Programs are run by an all-female, trained staff in order to ensure that it is a safe, comfortable space for each participant. Our Marriage and Family Programs are staffed by trained married couples. 

 

WHAT CAN ACTIVITIES OCCUR DURING AN AWA PROGRAM?

While each program is designed for different groups, the training concepts and activities are much the same.  Activities center around outdoor excursions such as hiking, horseback riding, fishing, archery, ATVing, snowmobiling, skiing, and more.  Each 5-day program will have multiple excursions, multiple individual and group activities, and six training sessions targeted to support healing and recovery from past moral injury and hardships unique to military and first responder personnel.  For more details on each specific program, contact a program director.  

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME IF I ATTEND AN AWA PROGRAM? 

Besides upholding safety standards given to you by AWA staff, our only expectation is that you be honest with yourself and those around you.  AWA does not force anything on any participant.  We ask that all participants trust the process we implement during training.  

WHAT PACKING LIST DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR AN AWA PROGRAM?

Since most of the AWA programs are conducted in the Colorado mountains at high elevations, it is recommended each participant pack layers for all seasons.  Even the middle of the summer can be very cold in Colorado.  A packing list will be supplied to you before you begin a program.  

CAN MY SPOUSE ATTEND AN AWA PROGRAM?

Yes. AWA programs are open to all military, veteran, and first responder spouses.  Your spouse can attend a program even if you don’t. 

 

CAN MY FAMILY ATTEND AN AWA PROGRAM?

Yes. AWA Family programs are open to all military, veteran, and first responder families.  

IF I AM ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED, CAN I ATTEND THE MARRIAGE PROGRAM?

The AWA Marriage Program is for married couples only.  Engaged couples are encouraged to attend our Men’s and Women’s programs individually.  

 

WILL AWA ACCOMMODATE FOR DIETARY RESTRICTION AND FOOD ALLERGIES?

AWA will work with each participant on a case-by-case basis to accommodate for any dietary or allergy concerns.  

IF I'M PREGNANT, CAN I ATTEND A PROGRAM?

AWA will accept women who are pregnant as program participants.  Please understand that some program activities may not be acceptable for pregnant women.  We will work with each participant on a case-by-case basis and do all we can to accommodate.  Consult your physician to assess your personal limitations before attending.

IS AWA A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION? 

AWA is not a religious organization.  However, training and teaching is rooted in Scriptural principles and concepts. We believe that there are many great resources for the members of our military, veteran, and first responder community to receive healing.  We choose to use the Bible as our foundation for participants to experience true hope, love, and grace. 

 

WHAT DOES “FAITH-BASED” MEAN? IF I AM NOT RELIGIOUS OR PRACTICE ANOTHER FAITH CAN I STILL ATTEND?

You absolutely can attend the program! We welcome people of all faith backgrounds to all our programs. We believe that each person is created for a special purpose and deserves the healing necessary to continue their life of purpose. Our original curriculum provides biblically based teaching, and it is meant to encourage those that are hurting to seek help. Our training provides healing and reminds each individual that they loved, valued, and are created for a specific purpose.  Our training aims to convey individual worth and remind participants that there is always hope, grace, and healing available.

 

I SEE THE TERM “WILDERNESS” USED IN SOME AWA DESCRIPTIONS. WHAT EXACTLY DOES THIS MEAN? 

AWA uses the term “wilderness” both literally and figuratively. Some of our programs take place in locations that are recognized as the wilderness.  These wilderness locations are places to find solace and vision.  Wilderness is also representative of each of our lives.  We sometimes find our personal life journey to be in a wilderness.  AWA recognizes the importance of escaping to these wild places and uses these wilderness locations to bring challenges, revelations, and the healing needed for our nation’s warriors as we traverse through life’s journey. 

 

 

WHAT LEVEL OF PHYSICAL CONDITION DO I NEED TO BE IN TO ATTEND A PROGRAM? 

Medical conditions that hinder breathing, physical activity, or are worsened at high altitudes may inhibit your participation in certain programs.  Many of our programs include hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Being physically fit will help you complete each program activity. Please be upfront with any concerns you have during the intake interview. 

WHAT KIND OF INJURIES WOULD KEEP ME FROM PARTICIPATING IN A PROGRAM? 

We have had attendees who have had below-the-knee and above-the-knee amputations.  We have had participants with TBI, spinal cord injuries, seizures, and burn injuries to name a few. AWA continues to adjust where needed to accommodate all members of our military and first responder community.  If you feel as if a pre-existing condition may hinder you from participating, please contact a program director.    

I WANT MY FRIEND TO GO WITH ME.  IS THERE ANY WAY TO MAKE SURE WE ARE PUT TOGETHER IN THE SAME PROGRAM? 

Yes.  On each application, put the same program dates you would like to attend.  Please make a note on the application and during the intake interview about wanting to attend an AWA program with another applicant. AWA believes strongly in building community after attending a program.  Going through a program with a friend is a great way to continue to stay accountable and connected. 

I HAVE SEEN AND DONE THINGS THAT MANY CONSIDER DISTASTEFUL TO TALK ABOUT.  IS IT OKAY TO SHARE THESE EXPERIENCES ON AN AWA PROGRAM?

Yes, it is okay to share difficult topics at an AWA program.  Each participant is encouraged to open and honest, but it is a personal choice how much each participant wants to discuss.  Leadership at these programs include past participants and trained AWA staff with military and first responder experience.  Those facilitating these programs have seen and gone through trauma in their own lives.  We all experience pain in this world, and you are not alone in the fight. 

IF I WAS DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM SERVICE, CAN I PARTICIPATE IN A PROGRAM? 

A dishonorable discharge does not disqualify you from attending an AWA program.  Every veteran who applies for an AWA program is will submit a DD-214.  The circumstances surrounding your discharge will be discussed during your intake interview.  We will work with each individual situation to provide the best support possible.  AWA expects 100% honesty from every applicant.  

WILL I BE PHOTOGRAPHED OR VIDEOED DURING AN AWA PROGRAM?

If you wish not to be recorded on camera, please let AWA staff know.  Our photographers will respect your privacy.  

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?

Visit the AWA website and select the CONTACT tab at the top of the page to reach the appropriate program director. 

HOW CAN I SUPPORT AWA?

You can visit the support section of our website and clicking the DONATE tab. If you would like to volunteer, please select CONTACT