Va. farm to help veterans with PTSD

Va. farm to help veterans with PTSD
The farm has horses and goats for therapy, and there are plans to grow a garden. (Source: WHSV)

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV/GRAY TV) — Work is underway at a farm north of Broadway to create a place for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder to find support from others with firsthand experience.

Travis Coyle and a fellow veteran are behind the Living Waters Farm Initiative. After returning from a tour in Afghanistan a decade ago, the Rockingham County native began experiencing anxiety and having trouble winding down — which are symptoms of PTSD.

After receiving help through the Department of Veterans Affairs, equine therapy and his spirituality, Coyle wanted to provide peer support to others who have served.

"When we were in the military, we never did anything alone, so we aim for the farm to be a place where we don't process this stuff alone," Coyle said. "We learn to live with it together in a community."

His farm has horses and goats for therapy, and there are plans to grow a garden.

“We’re just excited to be able to take what we have learned in our walk with PTSD and give it back to someone else and maybe help them navigate through it, hopefully even a little better than we did,” Coyle said.

Coyle said the initiative is working with another farm in Illinois and is in the process of completing necessary paperwork. An open house for volunteers is expected in June, which is also recognized as PTSD Awareness Month.

More information can be found on the Living Waters Farm Initiative’s website.

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