GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s estimated U.S. veterans have a 50% higher risk of suicide than the general population. Leaders of one non-profit are hoping to a new facility being built on Lake Greenwood can help change that. Tranquility Point Veterans Retreat is all about helping veterans suffering with PTSD and other disorders. The couple running the retreat, Kim and Barry Gambrell, said a veteran and their family can stay for up to five days, free of charge. They will offer tons of activities veterans can do to help reset. “Sometime after retiring, I was diagnosed with PTSD, myself, and I’ve been through all of the isolation, anxiety, the different feelings of stress and whatnot,” said Barry Gambrell.
Barry served in the Air Force for 20 years. He and his wife want to help veterans who struggle after returning home. “We decided to do this to reduce the suicide risk amongst veterans,” said Kim Gambrell. “Sometime after retiring, I was diagnosed with PTSD, myself, and I’ve been through all of the isolation, anxiety, the different feelings of stress and whatnot,” said Barry Gambrell. Barry served in the Air Force for 20 years. He and his wife want to help veterans who struggle after returning home. "We decided to do this to reduce the suicide risk amongst veterans,” said Kim Gambrell.
Barry believes a recreational setting can be beneficial. “We think when you get on that deep, dark spiral and become suicidal that one of the most important things that you can do is just re-root yourself. Just find a solid footing again,” he said. That’s where “Tranquility Point” comes in. “We want to do more of a one-on-one atmosphere, because, sometimes, people struggling with PTSD, they’re more likely to open up if it’s more individualized,” said Kim. They will offer things like peer-to-peer talks, fishing, painting, activities on the lake, and more. It’s been proven that recreational therapy helps digress those anxiety tendencies,” said Kim. Through an application process, they say they’ll be able to target what each veteran needs.
“We just want to take a look at and say okay, does this individual, what are their needs? What are their basic needs? Is this the type of place we think would be helpful for them?” said Barry. The main goal is to help veterans re-connect with their loved ones. “Is to teach the family, you know, why these people struggling with these disabilities, you know, go through the things they do,” said Kim. Tranquility Point will depend on donations and grants for funding. “The whole community wants to come together to do this. Businesses are offering discounts, or their services, or free labor. So, it’s just been a blessing,” said Kim. Ultimately, they want to have two cabins with an outdoor kitchen and dining area. All in an effort to help the men and women who have served our country. The Gambrells said they hope to be fully open and ready to serve veterans by next summer. They also said they will be making this retreat available to foster children.