Contact: CSM Sa’eed Mustafa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
S4L HOUSTON VETERANS’ RESILIENCY RETREAT PROVIDE WORLD CLASS SUPPORT AND RESOURCES TO VETERANS BY COMBATTING RISE IN SUICIDE AND HOMELESSNESS
Disabled Veteran Led Organization Sheds a Light on Issues Affecting Veterans And Military Personnel
(Houston, Texas) –The S4L Houston Veterans Resiliency Retreat Columbus Day Weekend 2022 was a major success as the event brought over 100 veterans and military personnel from around the country and State of Texas together to address the alarming increase in suicides, homelessness and unemployment affecting veterans.
The veterans retreat, which ran from October 6th to October 9th, 2022, featured key discussions around the topics of camaraderie, teamwork, workshops on mental health, wellness, suicide awareness and prevention, homelessness, unemployment, and effective post-service transition.
Hosted by New York based special event planners S4L Entertainment & Sports Management LLC, the weekend featured collaborative efforts between the newly formed S4L Resiliency Task Force, which consisted of the United Way Houston, Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point Operation Impact, Love and Hope for Our Heroes Inc., YIT Foundation, The National Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Dress for Success Houston, Sweets For The Streets Catering, HUMANA, Brookside Ranch, and the City of Houston’s Mayor’s Office.
Command Sergeant Major, US Army Retired, Sa’eed Mustafa, author of “Resilient Transition”, and founder of S4L, heralded the weekend a success as the events connected veterans from around the country with resources and key organizations on the road to mental health and wellness.
Since record keeping of suicide rates of military personnel began, research has found that military suicide rates are currently four times higher than deaths occurred during actual military operations. As of June 2022, 30,177 active duty-personnel and veterans committed suicide since 9/11 compared to 7,057 the previous 20 years.
Commenting on the increase, CSM Mustafa said, “these numbers were disturbing. I have an obligation to help the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our nation. These men and women need our support to transition back into civilian life, and they deserve a good quality of life after their service.”
He also noted that the recent pandemic, and now the economic downturn is making the transition even more difficult for veterans, and he wants to be part of the solution. The latest report from the US Department of Defense notes that deaths by suicide rose by 40% during 2015 and 2020- experts note that, “high exposure to trauma—mental, physical, moral, and sexual—stress and burnout” are to blame for the increase.
CSM Mustafa also noted; “as a military leader who served over 30 years on active duty with multiple combat deployments, I have committed my post military life to the intervention and prevention of suicide. I pray that my unique approach to leading and mobilization of Veterans, civilian volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and local municipalities, will be assisted by corporate sponsors, so I can help reach more at-risk veterans and stop suicide around the country.”
The S4L Houston Veterans Resiliency Retreat Columbus Day Weekend was based out of Le Meridien Downtown, and featured a meet and greet on Thursday, October 6th at SPACES, 1201 Fannin Street Downtown. Friday, October 7th a mental health and wellness workshop at the United Way Community Resource Center at 50 Waugh Street. Saturday, October 8th in the morning a Resiliency Motorcycle Ride from the National Buffalo Soldiers Museum, a Resiliency Walk at Discovery Green Park, Saturday night over 100 attendees were on hand for an epic S4L all White Affair & Veterans Resiliency Awards Gala. The weekend concluded with a prayer breakfast and introduction to Equestrian Assisted Learning & Psychotherapy experience at Brookside Ranch in Brookside Village.
15 veterans from all branches of service were highlighted and honored during the Resiliency Awards Gala for their incredible service, invaluable contribution, and inspirational stories of demonstrated resilience.
This event was previously held for six years annually during Juneteenth weekend exclusively in Hudson Valley, New York. Building on the success of the previous and this past week’s events, CSM Mustafa and his Resiliency Task Force are already receiving requests from other cities; they have started gearing up for 2023, hoping to spread the message of resiliency, wellness and uplifting fellow veterans and military personnel throughout the nation.
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