Two groups of Disabled Veterans were treated to the beauty and generosity of Mother Nature at Jackson Hill Marina courtesy of OFN and local volunteer anglers. The VA hospital in Fort Worth are frequent guests at Jackson Hill helping to provide older disabled Veterans a stress free trip to enjoy the beautiful natural resources of Deep East Texas. “Older VA patients especially our medical foster home veterans do not have many opportunities like this” said Kaitlyn Kelton VA Recreational Therapist and trip coordinator. “This is by far the most enjoyable trip for the patients and the caregivers. Everyone here makes sure that we are all treated like family, we just love it here” she added.
The other group of Veterans hosted in October were combat veterans from Camp Hope. The seven disabled veterans were treated to a bass and crappie fishing adventure as part of their trauma recovery program that Camp Hope provides to combat veterans suffering from severe symptoms of PTSD.
“Volunteers Dean Perkins, Denny Ekman, Clark Moore and Crappie fishing for Veterans guide Donnis Adams and Brother Robert Moore once again came through for all of these heroes and need to be recognized for their continuous support of Outdoor Freedom Network” said Connie Sympson cofounder of OFN.
“We knew that giving access to the great outdoors would be good for these heroes, however we did not anticipate the effect that it has in the trauma recovery process.” said Terry Sympson founder of Outdoor Freedom Network. The two current medical treatments for PTSD is drugs and talk therapy. We have found that unstructured time in the outdoors especially fishing is the most effective environment for talk therapy and is capable of miraculous improvements for trauma recovery patients” he added.
Camp Hope opened in 2012 and is located in a quiet and safe setting in Houston, Texas whereby veterans and their immediate family members can find healing, help and hope while benefiting from an intensive peer support and mentoring program for Post Traumatic Stress. In addition to temporary housing, Camp Hope offers a 90+ day PTSD recovery program in which residents: attend group lessons and support sessions with other combat veterans; conduct individual mentoring sessions with certified combat trauma mentors; participate in off-site small group interaction activities (fishing, hiking, local activities and events); and get involved with local churches, businesses and volunteer organizations to assist in their personal healing and educating the community on the invisible wounds of war.
If you would like to know more about Outdoor Freedom Networks programs or to donate to the cause you can go to www.outdoorfreedom.net. or you can contact Jackson Hill Marina at 936-872-9266. OFN is a 501 (c) (3) public charity operating from Jackson Hill Marina on Lake Sam Rayburn. To learn more about Crappie Fishing for Veterans go to www.facebook.com/crappiefishingforveterans.