Volunteer Spotlight: Doug and Ann Petersen

Doug and Ann Petersen have volunteered with Project Sanctuary since 2016. Between the two of them, they’ve contributed more than 1,600 hours of time to helping military families in need. We’re so grateful for Doug and Ann, and are kicking off our Volunteer Spotlight series with these superstar volunteers!

Doug and Ann Petersen at one of their first retreats, #112 in Texas.

Where do you live?

Benbrook, Texas.

How long have you been volunteering for Project Sanctuary?

Our first retreat as a volunteer was in October 2016 at The Retreat at Balcones Springs, Texas.

We just completed our 19th retreat in North Carolina. We have been to California, Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas. The one we love most is the one at Balcones Springs, Texas. Having done so many there, we have become friends with the staff and love the facility.

How did you find Project Sanctuary and why did you decide to start volunteering?

My former employer, First Command Financial Planning, is a large corporate contributor to Project Sanctuary. After meeting with one of Project Sanctuary’s staff while they were in the area, we were convinced we wanted to be part of the team.

We love the mission, and the people. Once we volunteered for the initial one, we saw the difference in the families from the first day to the last day, and it was evident to us, we wanted to be a part of the team.

Doug’s alter ego, “DJ Doug,” hosts lip sync night at Retreat 170 in Texas in May 2019.

Do you have a day job in addition to volunteering?

I retired from the US Army after 20 years, and then retired from First Command after 25 years before we started volunteering for Project Sanctuary.

What are your favorite things to do in your spare time?

We dedicate ourselves to eight to nine Project Sanctuary retreats each year. Between those, we love being with our grandchildren, doing a little gardening, and traveling. (We have a two-week trip coming up to Ireland in June.) Ann is actively involved with a retired officer’s wives club, and I am devoted to a local 12-Step recovery group.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering at Project Sanctuary?

We love getting to know the families and interacting with them at the retreat. We love seeing many of the families transform into a more cohesive family.

Ann helps a child complete a special St. Patrick’s Day activity as part of our Youth Program at Retreat 170 in Texas earlier this year.

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