Welcome back Street Survivors !
Personal note: Happy Birthday to my daughters, Shannon on the 10th and Kristy on the 13th of April. You are the brightest stars in my universe, and the source of my joy and pride.
As we have discussed personal protection and defensive tactics these past few years in this column, we’ve engaged enemies and threats from virus’s to multiple assailants and everything in between. One of these hidden threats can be both positive and negative, that being ‘stress’. Positive stress helps us to achieve great things in sports, in battle, in America’s classrooms, etc. Negative stress can break us down internally, damaging us both mentally and physically. Sometimes just watching the news on television can raise your blood pressure through the roof, especially these past few months, as our country takes another nosedive, hurting our citizens, our status in the world, and future generations. If you’re paying attention, and you care about your neighbor and your country, it’s difficult not to feel the stress of life piling up, as you look for a positive release of this pressure.
America’s Veterans have the added pressure of transitioning from a structured, disciplined lifestyle to the sometimes-unfriendly home turf they left behind. Sometimes friends and family members resent the fact that their returning Veteran broke free of the bonds that still restrict them, and experienced other places and cultures around the world, and did interesting and important duties to help safeguard the homeland.
Oftentimes our Veterans return home with physical or psychological scars that need healing, and are difficult to share with others, even loved ones. Daily Veteran suicide rates have averaged between 17 – 18 for the past few years, despite additional efforts to improve the Veteran’s Affairs department and private programs across the country.
Although I volunteer with several local Veteran’s groups, I was invited to attend a unique therapy session that involved Veteran’s working with horses in Tryon, NC just over the SC border. This program is administered by Diane Prewitt with Guiding Reins and fully paid by Veteran’s Benefits. No cost to the Veteran, just a time commitment to participate in the program. Both private and group sessions are available to all First Responders, not just military Veterans. Ground Horsemanship and Mounted Therapy are available to help in dealing with addiction, depression, head or brain trauma (TBI), PTSD, Spinal Cord Injury, Stoke and Victims of Abuse.
The session I attended matched up 3 female Veterans with experienced horses, excellent trainers and volunteers working on ground skills and building a working bond together. I was very impressed by the facility, the back to nature, low-tech approach to focusing on the Veteran and their individual needs. The participating Veterans are also part of the support group as they assist and congratulate each other as they work through the program. All in all, a very professional and compassionate approach to working through the many challenges faced by our Veterans and First Responders.
If you are a Veteran in need, or know one personally that could benefit from this program, please contact Diane directly at: 864-457-3575 or visit them at guidingreins.org or on facebook. It’s easy to donate as well, to help support an excellent healing program.
Stay safe, be prepared
Rick ‘Pirate Hunter’ Grover strongly believes we are all in this together, and the more we learn and train, the better we will be prepared for any eventuality. This makes all of us part of an amazing neighborhood team of American Patriots. God Bless America !
De Oppresso Liber – We Liberate the Oppressed !
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