Operation: Tohidu®

Over the last fourteen years, America's Global War on Terror has produced more than a half million veterans with service-related injuries. Thousands more are coping with invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These valiant warriors struggle to recover not only their health, but also their civilian lives finding jobs, rebuilding family relationships, and figuring out their new place in our communities. Their path is far from easy and many need our support. Melwood's Operation: Tohidu® program is a series of retreats designed for wounded veterans and active duty military to help them overcome obstacles to their recovery and support their successful reintegration into their homes and communities.

“Tohidu” is a Cherokee word meaning peace of mind, body, and spirit. Operation: Tohidu's experiential rehabilitation program focuses on confidence-building, outdoor activities, and group discussion in a relaxed, positive environment using proven techniques for the self-management of symptoms, stressors, and responses. Our highly trained staff of certified recreational support professionals strategically implement activities that highlight individual abilities, leading to an overall improvement in quality of life. By many accounts, it is one of the most intensive programs for veterans and active duty personnel with PTSD that is currently available in the eastern United States.

Melwood Renews and Expands Its Commitment to Veterans

Melwood recently made an unprecedented investment by establishing Melwood Veterans Services LLC (MVS), a newly formed non-profit organization. MVS will strengthen current programming and develop a diverse range of new services to support veteran employment, career development, and community reintegration.

As a core program element under MVS, Operation: Tohidu will continue to serve veterans and active-duty service members who are dealing with PTS(d), mTBI, and other service related trauma.

About Melwood

For more than 50 years, Melwood has advocated for and empowered individuals of differing abilities to transform their own lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community.

“Melwood has a time-honored tradition of developing cutting-edge programs that address the needs of Americans with differing abilities. Operation: Tohidu is our next step in empowering our war fighters with differing abilities.”

Cari DeSantis, Melwood President & CEO

Learn More



In a peaceful and secluded atmosphere, participants connect with nature and their fellow comrades to become empowered with alternative techniques to better manage anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Download the Operation: Tohidu brochure to learn more about the program.

In the News

Melwood's Operation: Tohidu program approach to treating PTSD was recently featured on CNN.


Operation: Tohidu retreats are held at Melwood's 108-acre Retreat and Recreation Center in Nanjemoy, Maryland. There, veterans use ropes courses, zip lines, rock wall, equine therapy and many other physically challenging activities to augment the educational sessions, social interactions, and spiritual reinforcement throughout the retreat week that helps them manage their own healing naturally.

Activities that participants engage in include:
  • PTSD Education
  • Experiential Learning
  • Equine-Centered Team Building
  • Exercise
  • Peer Support
  • Skills Training
  • Spiritual Support



Upcoming Retreats

  • November 5 - 9, 2018
    Women's Session for MST Survivors
  • December 3 - 7, 2018
    Women's Session
  • January 14 - 18, 2019
    Women's Session
  • February 11 - 15, 2019
    Couple's Session
  • March 4 - 8
    Women's Session for MST Survivors
  • March 24 - 29
    Men's Session
  • April 15 - 19
    TBD (will be based on demand)
  • May 6 - 10
    TBD (will be based on demand)

For more information and retreat schedule, please contact
Travis Rahill at trahill@melwood.org or 301-599-4550.


The 5-day retreat is free of charge to veterans and active duty service members, including accommodations and travel.


Complete the form by clicking the button below and reserve your spot at the next Operation: Tohidu® session.

Register Now


Your tax-deductible gift will show these wonderful men and women that you are grateful for their service and extraordinary sacrifice. Your gift will enable Melwood to provide our wounded veterans with the resources they need to achieve the fullest possible recovery.

Support a Veteran with a Financial Contribution
Financial Contributions
Support our Veterans with a Vehicle Donation
Vehicle Donations

Sponsorship Opportunities

Become an Operation: Tohidu sponsor and make your donation go even further. Sponsors may be recognized with signage at the Operation: Tohidu retreat site, on Melwood's website and social media, and in Melwood's annual report. Explore the sponsorship levels below and contact Melwood to discuss sponsorship for this transformative program.

  • $75,000

    Supports 20 veterans
  • $37,500

    Patriot Defender
    Supports 10 veterans
  • $18,750

    Supports 5 veterans
  • $7,500

    Supports 2 veterans
  • $3,750

    Clean Slate
    Supports 1 veteran

Contact Us

For questions, more information about participating in Operation: Tohidu, or to explore sponsorship opportunities: