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Scared Mountain Retreat Center offers a supportive and safe environment for progress in the journey of the day-to-day struggles of PTSD. The retreat is a great opportunity for all who are accepted to be an attendee. I have tremendous respect for our veterans and the sacrifices they have made.

I was personally very grateful for the opportunity as a First Responder as there are very few programs for us. The decades of trauma that we see is often not recognized by many of our agencies. Unique to first responders our battlefields are our own hometowns. We literally walk into a restaurant, drive down a street, or attend an event where we have dealt with immense tragedy. We don’t leave our war zone and return home to our family, instead we live in our war zone with our families and try to act like everything is fine.

The Sacred Mountain Retreat Center is a great program with great mentors who have walked in your shoes. I again am grateful for the opportunity to attend. I truly hope more programs will follow along in offering opportunities for First Responders.


When I got off the plane in Rapid City, I was a very broken, angry, and sad person. I was questioning if hitting the send button was the right choice.

During my time at Sacred Mountain, I began a much-needed healing process. My time in the mountains there, allowed me to see that I’m not so broken, that I can be put back together again.

I really didn’t have a support group outside of my immediate familynow I do! One that truly knows me. Thank you for giving me back the joy of living and the POWER to change how I live.


My time at Sacred Mountain was unexpectedly moving and impactful. Coming into the week, I was nervous and anxious. I was unsure of making the decision to get on a plane and go spend a week with complete strangers. Looking back now, I can say that it was a week that changed the rest of my life.

Although I had plenty of love and compassion from my family, I had lost all purpose in life. Serving in the military changed how I processed and accepted my emotions. Mostly, I just didn’t do it.

Sacred Mountain empowered me to identify the traumas that have happened in my life, the emotions that are associated with them, and gave me tools to process and succeed over those traumas. I can leave it all in the past and write my future. I love my new SMRC family, and I look forward to growing those relationships as we go through this walk together.


I want to thank you for saving my life and showing me I am worth it.


I am a Paramedic, Firefighter, Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, and Friend. As a Paramedic it is my job to take care of others. As a Firefighter I volunteer to take care of others. In my personal life I take care of anyone who calls me Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, or Friend. My life is to care for others, I am a Caregiver. I believe that most Caregivers forgot to care about themselves. I know I did.

I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for Sacred Mountain Retreat Center. I had been struggling with PTSD and depression to a point where I was no longer myself. I even attempted suicide 1 week before going to the retreat. My daughter stopped me from committing suicide that day. 

While I was at Sacred Mountain, I was initially lost and had no idea why I was there. As the days went on and I formed a bond with everyone else there.  I realized my daughter stopped me from killing myself, so I could come to Sacred Mountain to heal, to get better. To be the awesome Daddy and Husband again, and to dig myself back from the bottom and live.

There are no counselors just 7 to 8 other attendees to the retreat and mentors. It’s a very healing place, no cell service no distractions. The daily activities are working with horses, blacksmithing, yoga, and leather work. It is very rewarding to be able to work with your hands. Working with the horses is very relaxing. They also have a massage therapist and cryogenic therapy, which was awesome. For blacksmithing, we took old discarded railroad spikes and reshaped them into a beautiful working knife. For the leather work I took a flat piece of leather and turned it into a belt case for my multitool. I think the blacksmithing and leather work is a good metaphor for how I changed after the retreat.

The most healing part for me was talking to others who have similar trauma and a similar sense of humor.  The strangers I met on day 1 are now my Family and I would do anything for them 24/7/365. I’ve got their 6 and I know they have mine.  My wife said when I came back I was her “normal” husband again. I have continually been working on getting better ever since.

Thank God for Sacred Mountain Retreat Center and everyone who makes the retreats possible. I love you all and there is no way I could every repay you for what you have done for me and my family.


Cooking dinner with other veterans at the retreat was a great way to break the ice and get to know each other. Once everyone was relaxed we quickly got to know everything we could about each other. Some began to reminisce and others would talk about their struggles and ultimately…a brotherhood was formed.


During my time in the Army, I was physically and sexually assaulted by another member in my unit. This happened in January of 2011 and went to court martial in January of 2012.  What I didn’t know was how much this was going to affect my life over the next decade. I was truly broken. Lost and in a space, I described as a black hole and no matter what I did, I couldn’t crawl out. In the spring of 2021, I had planned to take my own life. I was at the lowest of lows. In April of 2021, I attended Sacred Mountain Retreat Center and it truly saved my life. The minute I walked through the doors I felt safe and had this sense of peace…it’s hard to describe. I knew I was in the right place and knew that I needed to be here with an open mind. I didn’t know what to expect being co-ed, but it made it better for me. I learned to trust everyone who was there, either attending or mentoring me. I gained a new family with Sacred Mountain. It helped me find peace and to know that I wasn’t alone in this. It helped me open myself to getting help through the VA and lastly it helped me realize “I’m worth it”. That my life is worthy and worth fighting for. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for Sacred Mountain.


Making a difference in the fight against the Veteran Suicide rate. And Mama DeeDee’s homemade treats are the best.


Great place with an amazing staff! If you are a Veteran, First Responder, or Gold Star family member I highly recommend this retreat. I had an awesome time, their motto says it all “Where the Hills Heal the Heroes”.


It is a very great place to relax, meet with other veterans who share the same bond and much more. Even with the winter weather storm, we had the chance to create handmade knives, learned about horses and connected with nature. As this organization grows, there will much more to help veterans. I look forward to going back again.


By the end of the program, I knew I wasn’t alone. I had sunshine and warm wind appearing during my darkest nights and coldest moments. Now, I can proudly say that I take better care of myself and I’m able to sleep at night. I’ve been able to close chapters in my life that I’ll never go back to.