The Elder Warrior Board of Directors is pleased to announce plans to hold the next Healing Journey for Veterans and Civilians at the Madre de la Rosa Retreat Center beginning on Sunday June 27th and concluding on Thursday July 1, 2021. The Board made this decision based on the expected availability of vaccines for Covid-19 that are likely to be rolled out by the end of 2020 and are purported to be available to all citizens around April of 2021.
From its inception, the founders and the Board have maintained a core value of physical and emotional safety at the Healing Journey. In keeping with that principle; to Ensure everyone’s safety, all staff and attendees of the 2021 Healing Journey will be required to be vaccinated for Covid-19 and will be required to test negative for the virus just prior to attending.
While we are optimistic that by June we will be able to travel and be together in safety, if developments prevent this, we will postpone the event.
Please go the “registration” page to sign up for the 2021 Healing Journey. We are here to answer your questions and concerns. Remember, scholarship funds are available, making the Healing Journey affordable for all.


This website and the healing journey describe the project of an organization

called Elder Warrior which uses a process of Healing Through Reckoning and Responsibility…

…Elder Warrior tradition comes from many long standing traditions: Native American, Roman, Greek, Maori, Islander etc.  The tradition is basic to all of them.

The returning warriors were welcomed, went through cleansing rites, were dined and had their wounds treated. Once that happened, the whole community would gather to listen respectfully to their stories.  The whole community owned responsibility for the warriors, what they had been asked to do in the name of the community and for what they experienced in war. The community claimed full responsibility for the individual actions of the warrior. Thus, the warrior did not carry all the guilt, wounds and weight of war by themselves.  A communal reckoning took place as well as the reintegration of the warriors.

The warriors were welcomed back into the community as Elder Warriors.  They were seen as carrying wisdom and strength for the community. Consequently violence in the community dropped and the youth of the community looked to the Elder Warriors for guidance, mentoring and courage.

Drawing from all the wisdom cultures, we offer a pathway for this to occur in modern times. The pathway we have formed is Healing Through Reckoning and Responsibility, which takes veterans and civilians through a guided process of encounter and civilian responsibility taking.


…In order for the veteran and soldier to heal, they must walk the journey home with a trusted, listening civilian. For the civilian to heal, they must open to learning of the soldiers experience. For the nation to heal, both the soldier and the civilian must heal: the civilian becomes responsible and the soldier becomes the Elder Warrior..


Most people believe that PTSD stands for a clinical medical condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We believe that PTSD, as it has been defined by Ed Tick and a number of other authors, is Post Traumatic Soul Distress recognizing that it is primarily a wound to the soul, a moral injury.
We have found that the reintegration process is essential for the healing of moral/traumatic injury. We have been stunned by the reports from our warrior participants telling us, early in the process, that long standing difficulties like sleep have lifted.
Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers heal when welcomed by Civilians who take responsibility for them and for the wars they are asked to fight in our name.
Veterans heal when the community cares and supports soldiers on their return. Active Duty suffer less PTSD and feel more connected when they return. They report feeling that this make them better and safer soldiers.


…We believe that like the military, civilians have a duty to their country. This is a bedrock principle of our organization – Healing Through Reckoning and Responsibility. 

The reasoning is this:

  • Those who make a sacrifice for others (military, first responders, health care providers, etc.) pay a personal price performing their vital function for the citizen(s).
  • Those making that sacrifice act from a solemn pledge to put others before themselves.
  • In functioning for the citizen(s) (performing their duty) those who sacrifice are likely to incur injury to their bodies, their psyches, their relationships, their spirit and soul – the price paid.
We believe a covenant naturally exists between the citizen and those performing these vital, highly demanding functions. The covenant can be thought of as a pledge, a bond of care, appreciation and respect. The covenant is reciprocal. Both parties are held in respect and regard and care. Another way of expressing this covenant is to say that both sides have and accept responsibility for each other. The covenant is a “contract”, if you will, with a solemn, personal obligation. We believe that on the Citizen’s side of the covenant with the military there are obligations which include:
  • Providing training, equipment and support.
  • Providing medical, psychological, and spiritual rehabilitation.
  • Providing benefits such as disability pay, education and vocational training.
  • Finding avenues to help unburden warriors from the moral injuries (PTSD) they receive during their service. Saying “thank you for your service” is woefully inadequate and is often heard by warriors as the civilian not wanting to bother knowing the difficult “moral injury details” of service.
This is where the Veterans/Civilians Healing Retreat provides a unique and much needed opportunity. Our four-day healing journey provides an encounter between warriors and civilians. The civilian can fulfill her/his duty by offering presence, openness, respect and responsibility-taking for the military experiences. Through the guided encounters of the retreat, warriors report feeling heard and received. Civilians report feeling deeply touched and changed – knowing they have provided and fulfilled a vital and healing function. A deep bond of respect and care forms naturally between the warriors and civilians through the retreat experience.

Our program provides scholarships for veterans and family members. It also includes ongoing research and development.  All donations are tax deductible.
We are willing to come and speak to a group about what we do.  Contact us to see if we have a team member near you and what it would entail to bring them there. 


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Elder Warrior

1241 Johnson Ave. Suite 307

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3306