As the KSM team continued to work with more first responders and military personnel, we are creating a “refuge,” a place for those who have experienced stress-related work events, or accumulated career stress that has, over a period of time, begun to affect their job performance and family life negatively; or individuals who are on administrative leave as well. The term “Cumulative Career Traumatic Stress” (CCTS), has been used to describe this challenge faced by first responders. The refuge would allow for those who have been involved in a particularly traumatic event or an accumulation of stressors in the job that would warrant time off from their profession, to decompress and address the issues before them. Other such entities currently exist, providing services to those who want to regain or maintain their mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness.
The idea became a reality when Dr. Kahle and his wife, Mindy (a 32-year retired police officer), found a location that would afford a somewhat secluded environment. The individual(s) in question and spouse, if applicable, could get away from outside stimuli and experience solitude and the opportunity to work through the difficulties before them in a non-threatening manner.
In August 2016, Belt, Montana, located approximately 35 miles southeast of Great Falls, became the home for Warrior Refuge. This location was selected based on its rural setting, open spaces, beautiful countryside, clean air, and the convenience of an international airport in Great Falls. The area is home to farming and ranching families nearby, which contribute to a relaxing and healing environment. The property presents over 106 acres of trees and meadows as well as open pasture. The Lewis and Clark National Forest is within a few minutes walk of the Refuge. Individuals staying at the Refuge will receive on-site confidential counseling, along with the opportunity to enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting, photography, skiing, and many more amenities.
Project Status: The property has received new perimeter fencing and will be the future home of the headquarters for Kindred Spirit Ministries. This project has been a “pay as you go” endeavor for the Kahle’s and others who support this ministry. Proposed future structures will be a guest quarter along with a pavilion and gazebo.
Warrior Refuge will offer an Honor Hunt on the property for both disabled veterans and those with age-related disabilities who would like to utilize a tag to harvest deer. This same offer also includes local law enforcement.
The headquarters will serve as a multi-use facility. One such purpose will be that of a refuge, which will provide an environment of relaxation and decompression for one individual at a time, or those with a spouse, who are dealing with accumulated stress, or incidents that have taxed them emotionally or physically. Confidential trauma counseling will be an important part of the individuals’ stay. The refuge will be conducive to privacy but, allow for outdoor activities that will enhance their time spent at the refuge.