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.

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



Dr. Mary Neal Vieten serves as Melwood's program director for Operation: Tohidu. She is a Commander in the United States Naval Reserve and a board-certified psychologist. Dr. Vieten served as a subject matter expert in the Pastoral Development Training Course Office of the Navy Chief of Chaplains. 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. Read the article or watch the segment.


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
  • Group Therapy
  • Peer Support
  • Skills Training
  • Spiritual Support

PTS(d) Treatment Pillars



Upcoming Retreats

  • Cycle 12
    September 1–4, 2016

    Alumni & Family Session
  • Cycle 13
    September 8–11, 2016

    Women Only Session
  • Cycle 14
    September 18–24, 2016

    Regular Session
  • Cycle 15
    November 6–12, 2016

    Regular Session
  • Cycle 16
    January 15–21, 2017

    Chaplains and Medical Professionals Only Session – "Compassion Fatigue"
  • Cycle 17
    February 19–25, 2017

    Regular Session
  • Cycle 18
    March 9–12, 2017

    Women Only Session
  • Cycle 19
    March 16–19, 2017

    Specialty Session TBA
  • Cycle 20
    April 23–29, 2017

    Regular Session
  • Cycle 21
    May 7–13, 2017

    Vietnam Veteran Session
  • Cycle 22
    May 28–June 3, 2017

    Regular Session


The weeklong retreat is free of charge to active and veteran 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 will be recognized with signage at the Operation: Tohidu retreat site, on Melwood's website and social media, and in Melwood's annual report. As a sponsor, a number of special volunteer opportunities are also available. 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

Operation: Tohidu Sponsors and Donors

Patriot Defender Sponsor
  • PSA Insurance/Construction Risk Solutions/Hartford
Liberty Sponsor
  • George and Andrea Watkins
Providence Sponsor
  • United Way of Charles County
  • Sabre Systems
Clean Slate Sponsor
  • John F. Loome


    Nicole Ward

    Glen and Barbara Ives

    Beth Anne & Stephen Johnson
  • George Watkins

    Capital Auto and Truck Auctions, Inc.

    McCrea Equipment

    Mary Glasson

    Cari DeSantis

    Mary Vieten
  • Aaron Drewiske

    American Legion Post 274

    American Legion Post 82

    Ann Marie Wunderler


    Api Ajavon

    Beth Cooper-Joseph

    Bonnie Marie Green

    Cari Desantis

    Carol Grom

    Christina Eaglin

    Chwkuemeka Nwanedo

    Craig Travis

    Daniel Gallagher

    Diane Wilson-Bragg

    Donna Todd

    Dorothy L. Bibbs

    Douglas C. Hinckley

    Douglas Fulford

    Douglas Steward

    Earl A. Meyerson

    Edward Diaz

    Frank Elam

    Fred Corbin

    George Watkins

    Glen Ives

    Glenn Feldhuhn

    Hannah Rutt

    Harold Lawson

  • Ida Rusell

    James A. Francis

    James L. Yates

    Jandi Potts

    Jen Muschlitz

    Jessica Grom

    Joan Fegan

    John Gigliotti

    John Scott Sovereign

    John Straub

    John Weatherly

    Josee R. Esther

    Joy R. Pierson

    Joyce Donnellan

    Judith a. Hancher

    Ken Rothermel

    Kristie A. Lomangino

    Larry Tuttle

    Larysa Kautz

    Laura Gettings

    Leslie D. Taylor

    Linda C. Sega

    Marchesa Whittington

    Marvin Miller

    Mary Ann Miller

    Mary Vieten

    Marzi Viverette

    Michael Nowark

  • Michele Inge-Farmer

    Mike Keppler

    Minhtri Ho

    Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Miles, III

    Oilda Del Castillo

    Pamela Ann Blackford

    Philip Hilton

    Phyllis S. Hughes

    RADM William Shannon, USN(ret)

    Raley, Watts, & O'Neill

    Revilee Young

    Robert Grom

    Robert Koca

    Scott Gibson

    Shakelton Group

    Sharon Adrian / Society of FBI Alumni, NOVA

    Sherri Levy

    Susan M. Mea

    Susan R. Cole

    Sylvia Holy

    Tamara Todman

    Taylor Clear, III

    Tracy Wareing Evans

    Travis Craig

    Victor Leon Birks

    William Donnelly

    William S. Chafin, Jr.


Contact Us

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