Happenings At The C4 Ranch
Honoring our NSW Families at the C4 Ranch
In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. This day was commemorated as Armistice Day and was declared a national holiday in 1938. Initially, Armistice Day was a day to recognize veterans of World War I. However, after World War II and the most significant mobilization of armed forces in our Nation’s history and at the request of many veteran service organizations, Congress amended the Act of 1938 by changing the word “Armistice” to “Veterans”. With the approval of this legislation in 1954, November 11th became Veterans Day, a day to honor all veterans of the uniformed services who have served, or are still serving, during times of peace as well as war. November 11th is a day reserved to honor the sacrifice and bravery of our service members; it is a day of recognition and remembrance. What used to be recognized as a celebration of the end of “the war to end all wars,” now is symbolic of the service and sacrifice of all military members. The question is: How can we truly honor their sacrifice and service beyond the Veterans Day Holiday?
Imagine spending close to 270 days a year away from your family, under the constant pressure of grueling training and extended deployments, then suddenly returning home to family life. The transition is jarring and puts extraordinary stress on SEAL families. At the C4 Foundation, our team strives to make the C4 Ranch a sanctuary worthy of our Naval Special Warfare Veterans and their families. The C4 Ranch is a private 560-acre oasis where NSW families build fortitude with our F.R.O.G. Programs. These nature-based, neuroscience-backed decompression programs are equipping special operators and their families with tools to combat the unique stressors faced by the Naval Special Warfare community.
Our Family Retreats are a pivotal part of the F.R.O.G. Program. We have hosted 29 Family Retreats at the C4 Ranch since our Summer newsletter. Engaging with nature, reconnecting with family, the meaningful moments that create lasting memories and stronger bonds. These retreats provide a restorative space and activities for families to connect and communicate.
“Every time we come to the Ranch, I’m so humbled by the effort that goes into this beautiful place. So much thought and love go into making this place the perfect family retreat. So, thank you- for everything and to everyone who makes this possible.”- Navy SEAL family
Another staple of the F.R.O.G. Program is our weekend-long, small group program called Warrior Reset. Whether a SEAL or SWCC is in the training pipeline to deployment, just returning from deployment, or at a training command, warriors focus on rejuvenating both mind and body as they learn new tools to manage stress on the battlefield and at home. The Warrior Reset Program is held bi-monthly at the C4 Ranch.
“What a weekend. We cannot thank you enough for this relaxing experience and for sharing this amazing place with us. Most importantly, thank you for sharing your stories. The stories of Charlie will live on forever. We are honored to be on such hallowed ground.” – SEALs from Warrior Reset
Also held bi-monthly at the C4 Ranch is the Spouse Reset Program. While warriors are engaged in constant training and deployment cycles, this program helps spouses remain strong. Beginning with intention-setting exercises focused on mindfulness and progressing to rehabilitative exercises like meditation, yoga, and our gratitude roundtables, these weekends help our NSW spouses return to their families relaxed and restored.
“I have no words. This Ranch and the experience this weekend with the other spouses is truly one-of-a-kind. Thank you so much for all that you do at the C4 Foundation to provide this “reset” for us.” SEAL spouse from Spouse Reset
The F.R.O.G. Program also includes NSW command offsites at the C4 Ranch. As a mission-critical aspect of high-stakes training and deployment, Naval Special Warfare Commands and SEALs come together to solidify relationships and discuss leadership and management strategies. These private and confidential events are invaluable in building the relationships between the leadership and NSW service members. The C4 Ranch has hosted four command offsites in the last three months.
“Thank you from our team to yours. We were able to focus on command culture growing strong as a team because we were all together. Without the C4 Ranch, we would have been stuck in a classroom all weekend.” – ATC Command Offsite Leadership
In addition to our F.R.O.G. Programming, we are proud to have hosted several NSW sister Foundations and NSW organization events at the C4 Ranch in the past 3 months, including R4ST- Readiness for SOF Transition- and The Pillar Foundation. We anticipate hosting over 1000 SEALs and their family members at the C4 Ranch for our F.R.O.G. Programs and retreats by the end of 2022. The C4 Foundation is committed to honoring our NSW service members and their families with our work at the C4 Ranch, and we are looking forward to building on this commitment in the coming years.
Written by Jennifer Cooper, MS, Director of Programs, The C4 Foundation