A combat veteran is using horses to help other veterans with PTSD

A combat veteran is using horses to help other veterans with PTSD

PTSD is a serious condition that many soldiers – upwards of 20% – return home with after fighting for their country. Eight percent of Americans, which equates to 24.4 million people, suffer from PTSD on a daily basis. Although the condition affects so many people, as with most mental illnesses, PTSD has no cure. However, PTSD can be managed with proper treatment.

One combat veteran has made it his own personal mission to help other veterans who are suffering. How? With horses!

Warrior Outreach

Warrior Outreach is a nonprofit organization which teaches veterans and their families basic horse skills including riding and care. Using equine therapy, this organization aims to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Equine therapy is a form of emotional support which has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as an effective treatment for PTSD.

With over 20 acres of trails, 17 horses, a music pavilion, picturesque landscapes, and a community center, there’s a lot to keep the visiting veterans and their families occupied. Thousands of people each year come to this ranch in Fortson, Georgia to hang out with the horses. In fact, in 2016, over 16,800 people benefitted from the services of Warrior Outreach.

The man behind Warrior Outreach

Who is Sam Rhodes? A retired combat veteran himself, Rhodes has made it his personal mission to help those suffering from the mental illness that he knows all too well. Suffering from PTSD, and having previously attempted to end his own life, Rhodes knows the dangers that can be waiting for soldiers, even when they’ve returned home.

He’s dedicated over nine years of his life and his entire savings into helping others. His primary objective is that soldiers returning home will not only be able to manage their trauma, but rebuild their shattered confidence, reconnect with their friends and families, and form bonds and friendships with others that have experienced similar traumas in their lives.

What’s next?

Because Warrior Outreach is only run and managed by Sam and his wife, the program is quite limited. That hasn’t stopped Sam from trying to expand the program, however. Rhodes has not given up to this point and will continue to persist into the future. We can’t wait to see what an incredible impact Warrior Outreach will make in the lives of many more people who have fought for our country.

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