Gathering in Gainesville: Freedom Alliance Vets on Vacation

Categories: Family Retreats, Highlights, Support Our Troops

Amid life’s busyness, most of us can only dream of taking a summer vacation at a lakeside resort.

For these veterans hosted by Freedom Alliance and friends, however, a weekend Gainesville Getaway turned this dream into an exhilarating reality. ­­

Each summer, long-time Freedom Alliance supporters Rita and David Scott invite veterans to their home by Georgia’s Lake Lanier for a weekend of fun in the sun. This is the sixth consecutive year that David and Rita have given American heroes a much-needed vacation.

Each year, a new group of veterans avail themselves of the Scotts’ kindhearted generosity and southern hospitality. Whether it’s the fresh beef tenderloin dinner waiting for their hungry arrival, the turbo-charged jet ski rides on picturesque Lake Lanier, or the relaxing fishing trips in a private boat donated by the Lanier Striper Club, the Scotts spare no effort in making sure that these heroes (and their spouses!) have the time of their lives.

Josh and Cyndi Miles, one of the couples at this Heroes Retreat, said “The trip to Georgia was incredible! Being able to do activities we have never tried before was amazing. It was relaxing, stress free, and a lot of fun!”

As a Freedom Alliance board member, Rita knows full well the importance of relaxation and stress-free environments in the lives of veterans and their families. Josh Miles, for example, is a 16-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. His military career saw him deploy to the Philippines and Haiti, culminating in his current position as an instructor at the Marine Corps University in Quantico. Cyndi, his wife, served for five years in the Navy, and currently works as a full-time Program Coordinator at the Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital.

As one might imagine, Josh and Cyndi don’t get a lot of time to relax.

This is why Rita and David’s work is so valuable—it gives our veterans a weekend away from their daily schedule, and the opportunity to connect with families who are in similar walks of life.

Cyndi Miles, for her part, discovered something unusual about this particular lakeside vacation: All the other wives in Gainesville for the weekend also had a history of military service! This meant that both Josh and Cyndi could make lifelong friends, because of their shared experiences with their fellow American heroes.

No one wanted to leave—but alas, the end of the weekend came quicker than anyone hoped. None of the veterans could stop talking about how much fun they had, and about how valuable the experience was for each attendee.

Darius Brown, a 15-year veteran of the Air Force, told us, “My wife and I want to thank Rita, David, and Freedom Alliance for allowing us to participate in the Gainesville Getaway. The getaway truly provided a positive environment for my wife and I to reconnect and strengthen our marriage’s foundation.”

Freedom Alliance exists to serve American heroes like Josh, Cyndi, and Darius. We are grateful to Rita and David Scott for always opening their home to deserving veterans, and for partnering with us to continue supporting America’s military.

To learn more about how Freedom Alliance helps our nation’s military families and wounded warriors, visit freedomalliance.org.

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