Alex Holt of Washington wasn’t thinking about himself when he heard about the Operation Healing Forces Couples Retreats. As a Battalion Command Sergeant Major in the Army’s Special Forces, he wondered how he could make the program accessible to his frequently deployed soldiers and their partners. When an opening came up for Alex and his wife Jenny to experience the retreat for themselves in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, they jumped on it.
“The retreat couldn’t have come at a better time for us due to the multiple stressors of work and personal life during the last few months,” Alex says, who’s on call 24-7, 365 days a year.
With a blended family that includes six grown children, three grandchildren, and two kids still living at home, ages 7 and 17, life is busy. Jenny is also an on-call professional chef for the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle and a language instructor for the Special Forces community. A native of Bandung, Indonesia, she received her American citizenship during the height of COVID in 2020.
Highlights of the retreat included Jenny learning to surf and Alex discovering a budding passion for golf. When he returned to work, Alex says he felt like a changed man, which didn’t go unnoticed by his soldiers. “They were like, ‘this isn’t the same person who just left. What in the world did you do?’ And I said, ‘let me tell you about this nonprofit called Operation Healing Forces.’”