The 70-year-old Mayan Dude Ranch in rural Texas hill country may not seem the most likely place for an international healing journey, but that’s exactly what happened over a memorable long weekend this January. The ranch hosted 20 teens from around the United States, Belgium, and Afghanistan, brought together by Tuesday’s Children for their Project Common Bond program. Each of these youths have endured trauma and loss due to world conflict and terrorism, either as Gold Star Family members or as refugees. This event brought them together to learn from their varied but connected experiences, and have an unforgettable time with a new cohort of friends.
Teledyne FLIR Defense has recently partnered with Tuesday’s Children to advance their mission of supporting Gold Star Families and children throughout the world who have been forever changed by terrorism, military, conflict, or mass violence. Tuesday’s Children was originally founded to offer support, counseling, and resilience training to minors who lost family members during 9/11. In the last 2 decades they’ve helped hundreds of families establish communities and rebuild after enduring life-altering loss. As a charitable service partner, Tuesday’s Children is a natural fit for Teledyne FLIR Defense, as they are providing vital assistance for the military families and allied partners that we are working each day to empower and protect.
Through financial support from Teledyne FLIR Defense, all 20 of the Project Common Bond attendees were able to travel to Texas at no cost to the children’s families or Tuesday’s Children.
Project Common Bond is a signature event that Tuesday’s Children hosts twice-yearly to engage with one another in activities and conversations that empower them to become a generation of compassionate global leaders. For this Winter session the attendees learned about leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, and held peacekeeping and dignity sessions. They also got to participate in fun teambuilding activities like a selfie scavenger hunt and horseback riding. There were also the small, natural moments watching kids from around the world come together to teach each other basketball and how to roast marshmallows.
“Project Common Bond impacted me by giving me an opportunity to meet more people that I share my experience and struggles with, who understand and support me,” reflected one of the attendees.
“It was a very impactful experience, and it was nice to learn that I’m not the only one that’s struggling with my identity and my experiences throughout my life,” added another. “I would love to come back to the summer program anytime!”
“Teledyne FLIR Defense is proud to support Tuesday’s Children and cover transportation costs for all of this year’s retreat attendees from the US and abroad,” said Dan Morgan, Senior Director of Business Development and Sales at Teledyne FLIR Defense and a longtime supporter of the organization. “Our Gold Star military families have given so much to our country. Giving back to them in any small way helps honor their sacrifice and the debt we owe them.”