Military Family Appreciation Month: Saluting the Beem Family

Project Sanctuary has teamed up with 99.5 The Mountain this June for Military Family Appreciation Month! Tune in all month long to hear from Project Sanctuary families (and of course, some great music from the folks at 99.5!).

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Each week, we’re featuring a Project Sanctuary graduate family from Colorado. This week we’re saluting the Beem Family.

Lizz and Brian Beem

Brian Beem served in the U.S. Army for 20 years as a Cavalry Scout, retiring as a Staff Sergeant. When he enlisted, his wife Elizabeth (Lizz) and he shared two children, with their third arriving while he was in the service.

Brian had two combat tours in Iraq and a third deployment to Afghanistan. During his second deployment, he and his crew were struck by an IED that killed one soldier and injured Brian’s leg. He was sent to recover at Walter Reed, but due to complications, ultimately lost his leg. With the support of his family, Brian elected to continue serving. He returned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska and went back to work with his unit, eventually deploying with them to Afghanistan as their Battle Staff Non Commissioned Officer.

Brian and his family moved to Virginia for the remainder of his Army career. He worked with the Army’s Night Vision Lab, developing the tools our future generations of soldiers will be using. His last three years were spent assigned to the Army Wounded Warrior Program, helping the Army’s ill and injured move forward.

We’ll let Brian take it from here:

Lizz and I learned of Project Sanctuary in 2007. We were thrilled to find an organization that was looking to help not just the soldier, but the entire family.

All soldiers get reintegration training, but no one at that time was interested in working with whole families. We first met with Heather and her team while we were on a trip to Colorado with another organization. She and her people provided counseling to Lizz and I as a couple, as well as our children. Lizz and I saw how special Project Sanctuary was and knew we wanted to stay in touch. 

Our first family retreat with Project Sanctuary in 2012 was really something special. It was time that took us away from the business of our lives and got us to spend time together as a family.

We had just moved and our kids were having trouble adjusting to their new environment. Being removed from our daily work and school routines gave us all a chance to really communicate with each other without distraction.

Lizz and I later went on a couple’s retreat with Project Sanctuary. While the family retreat was a great way to get my family in touch with one another. Lizz and I really needed a chance to sync up together one-on-one. If it weren’t for Project Sanctuary, we might not have ever really done that, instead just being overrun by our day-to-day lives.  

Project Sanctuary gave us that chance to just be together in a supportive environment. Their activities and schedule gave us direction and things to discuss that brought us closer together. 

Now that we live in Colorado, Project Sanctuary is providing for us yet again. This time, it is because Lizz and I want to give back.

Project Sanctuary has allowed us to volunteer, helping other families who are in the same place that we were. Having been on the receiving side of their organization, we get how important the work they do is and want to help enable Project Sanctuary in anyway they can, much as they enabled my family to be a better family.

Joining Project Sanctuary’s Strike Force makes you part of an elite group of supporters – our most effective force to change how military families heal.

Your gift of $40 per month will provide an outdoor reconnection experience for 10 families at a therapeutic retreat this year. Give now >>

Find out more about volunteering here >>