A lot of stigma still surrounds PTSD and its symptoms, and those who develop it often feel alone. Hunting With A Hero is here to show them they are not alone.
PTSD can be a complex and confusing thing for family and friends to watch a service member grapple with. The spouse and children of a service member with PTSD needs to understand why their loved one is acting the way they are, so that they can be an effective support system.
It takes more than talk therapy and medication alone to cope with PTSD, and every case can be a different experience for both the service member battling it and for their family.
Hunting with a Hero wants to combine outdoor recreation with therapeutic bonding for service members and their families. Being out in nature, with loved ones, with a shared goal and pastime can allow service members and their families an opportunity to discover and learn new communication and coping strategies to deal with PTSD symptoms.
At HWAH, our goal is to establish facilities outside of each U.S. military installation. These will consist of a 10,000 square foot pavilion and log cabin residence for the family receiving care. The plan is for military insurance provider Tri-Care to pay for the family’s visit, with licensed psychiatrists renting the offices. Marital and family therapies will be available, as well as a gymnasium and recreational room for children to play while their parents are in session. A coffee bar and bistro will be provided for daytime activities and therapy sessions. The grounds will provide equestrian outings, farm land for use by local Future Farmers of America chapters, and 4H clubs can assist in youth activities such as fishing. Televisions and phones will be restricted to the pavilion only, to maximize the families uninterrupted time together.
The goal is for these facilities to be staffed by licensed psychologists, professional hunters and prior service staff members who have direct and firsthand knowledge of PTSD, as well as local volunteers who wish to assist in activities outside of therapy to help both soldiers and their family members establish healthy coping mechanisms.
We wish for all HWAH facilities to become an integral part of their local communities, and for service members and their families to learn about hunting and wildlife/environmental conservation as a tool to ease their anguish and ensure a positive mental health outcome.