A Letter from our founder

“We are human beings who pass through this existence with gifts and needs, anxieties and dreams, strengths and vulnerabilities.  If we, as leaders and followers, remember our common nature, we will deal with each other out of mutual respect, not out of disdain or awe.”

-Ira Chaleff

Leaders influence others by using their experiences to support positive change. They are not leaders because they are perfect; they are leaders because they are able to use their challenges and imperfections to their advantage.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Grotbo’s leadership began long before the creation of this organization, his personal struggles, challenges and resilience in the face of trauma created the organization Moraine View R&R. 

“In 2002, I was deployed to Afghanistan as an Air Force Special Warfare Operator in support of Army Special Forces for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While deployed, I experienced military life downrange where surreal moments in a near constant “fight, flight, or freeze” environment allowed little room for decompression. I returned home forever changed. I felt enough despair and hopelessness to crave going back into the fray, in the hopes of meeting my final destination: death.

 

I had not realized that I carried a great deal of psychological trauma, or post traumatic stress, before I entered the service. I would soon top off my trauma reservoir with combat trauma, leaving very little room to deal with reality. Although this death wish would never come to fruition, this idea was deeply planted in the back of my mind. For the next 18 years, I did everything in my power to keep it under control. On February 14, 2020, I would finally experience a trigger point. 

Months of counseling sessions, clinics, and self-care provided a foundation to work through my trauma, but it was my retreat back to my Midwestern family farm that provided the best therapy. Being back in a familiar environment was a healthy way to isolate and was something I knew was missing when I first came home from deployment 18 years ago.”

In April, 2020 I had the idea of creating the retreat atmosphere with some of the therapeutic amenities I was able to finally utilize. I created Moraine View R&R with the goal of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual resilience as part of my own self-care. I wanted to create the ideal place to cater these critical areas of resiliency for all veterans. I want this retreat to provide my fellow veterans a positive experience to help us get past the challenges that have plagued us for so long.