Posted on September 6, 2017

Leaders, veterans and family members behind the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation want to change the post-traumatic stress discussion to an effort focused on post-traumatic growth.

The foundation is launching a new program that cultivates and facilitates post-traumatic growth in warriors coming home from war. Their program will get a funding boost to fuel expansion from the Sept. 30 Drafts & Drums on the Drag event.

“It’s all about reintegrating back into society,” says Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation board member and veteran Mikey Traugutt. “Now that you’ve led in combat, why not come home and lead in the community and in business.”

The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation is working with the Boulder Crest Retreat in Bluemont, VA, to bring their Warrior PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) program to Washington state. The Virginia program is the nation’s first non-clinical program to help those with post-traumatic stress disorder, enabling them to transform times of struggle into strength and growth.

Taught by a blended team of trained combat veterans and civilian instructors who have walked the road from struggle to strength, small groups of veterans participate in an intensive, seven-day training retreat.

“Trauma doesn’t discriminate,” says Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation President Leslie Mayne. “Most of the programs start with what is wrong with you. The Warrior PATHH program is a totally different way to respond. It has transformed the lives of participants, helping them reclaim their lives.”

“We’re not waiting for the Veterans Administration to solve this problem for our warriors. Our broader community needs to be part of the solution now. We need our warriors back home in our communities,” she says. Mayne and board member Mickey Traugutt have been to the Virginia retreat center to see first-hand the power that the program has in transforming the lives of warriors returning home.

“For me, it was lifechanging,” Traugutt explains of his recent participation in a Warrior PATHH retreat at Boulder Crest in Virginia. He attended the retreat with the intent to become a trainer in the program, continuing his service to fellow veterans, but ended up getting much more from the experience in his own journey after active duty military life.

“Any veteran that goes through the program is definitely going to come out with something that makes their life better,” Traugutt says. “When they come out better, their families are better and their communities are better.”

The first retreat offered by the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation will start in late September at a rented retreat center not very far from the foundation’s home in Gig Harbor. Foundation leaders hope to eventually host the retreats at their own retreat center.

Part of the proceeds from the Sept. 30 music and beer festival will go toward funding additional retreats in 2018. In addition to the classic cars, food and end-of-summer fun, the festival will provide a stage for the foundation to raise awareness of their new program and inspire hope. Foundation leaders will be on hand at the festival to share their story.

“We’re honored to help provide a broader stage for the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation and the important work they’re doing for our community’s warriors,” said event organizer Brian Nilsen of Bremerton Motorsports Park and Circuit of the Northwest.

Tickets to Drafts & Drums on the Drag are now on sale. The event features three bands, eight local breweries and a vintage car show in an open-air festival fundraiser on the Bremerton drag strip. The Sept. 30 event runs from 2 to 8 p.m. and kicks off with an opening ceremony saluting the community’s soldiers.

The Sept. 30 event features craft beer pours from eight local breweries and live-music performances from three distinctly Northwest bands, including:

  • Knucklehead, a classic rock power-trio based out of Bremerton
  • Ben Union, a Seattle-based band featuring R&B, Soul & Alternative Rock music
  • Hell’s Belles, an all-female AC/DC tribute band from Seattle

The event will be held on the Bremerton Motorsports Park drag strip, which is located on an inactive runway adjacent to Bremerton National Airport. The runway was used by the U.S. Navy during World War II and became a home to auto sports in Kitsap County in 1960.

To buy tickets to Drafts & Drums on the Drag, go to

To learn more about the Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation, go to

About Drafts & Drums on the Drag – Drafts & Drums on the Drag is the first of what will be an annual beer and music festival tradition in Kitsap County hosted by Bremerton Motorsports Park, a non-profit motorsports organization that has operated in Kitsap County since 2002. The 2017 event benefits the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation.

About the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation – The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation has given more than $200,000 to alternative therapy programs that help soldiers give themselves “permission to start dreaming” of life beyond their service to country. The foundation’s mission is to inspire hope and action in the community and provide access to solutions for soldiers affected by post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. The foundation supports soldiers and their families with professional services, challenging peer adventures, education and spiritual devotion activities. The Gig Harbor-based foundation was launched in 2011.

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