‘You’re not alone’: Warriors Heart opens treatment facility for service members
Executive Director Michael Marotta: “This isn’t the end. There is possibility. There is help. "
CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Nestled within 520 acres of land in Caroline County, a new substance abuse treatment facility is opening its doors to provide a beacon of hope for military members, veterans, and first responders.
Warriors Heart, originally based in Texas, has on-site clinicians and therapists to help service members with drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD and trauma.
“This is the folks that I served with. I’ve lost friends to suicide. I’ve seen friends struggle with addiction,” said Michael Marotta, executive director for Warriors Heart Virginia. “I’ve had that moment. I’ve had those low points in my life, and I know what it feels like to turn and not see anybody there to give you a helping hand, and so we want to be part of that solution.”
The 60-bed facility provides K-9 and equine therapy as well as other workshops.
“We also have art therapy, metal shop and wood shop available for our warriors as well,” said Marotta.
Back in August, the Caroline County Board of Supervisors approved a permit for the facility.
“We were invited here by the previous governor’s administration, and this was about three years ago that the relationship was really starting to be developed with our Bandera facility,” said Marotta. “Now, we are supported by Gov. Youngkin, and our programming aligns nicely with his ‘Right Help, Right Now’ initiative, his six-point initiative to bring better healthcare and mental health services to responders and military.”
Warriors Heart also has a facility in Bandera, Texas. This is a place Shane St. John credits for saving his life last year.
“I retired in 2017 for PTSD, I struggled, I was in a really, dark, dark place,” said St. John. “Just the warriors healing the warriors, right? It was just getting there and recognizing I wasn’t alone.”
Through the 42-day program, Marotta and St. John hope to give service members and responders a space to heal.
“This isn’t the end. There is possibility, there is help,” said Marotta. “I don’t like the thought of people struggling alone. We are a resource.”
“You’re not alone. Your mission’s not over,” said St. John. “You have purpose here on this Earth, and when you’re ready, we’re ready to receive you and help you get through that.”
Marotta told NBC12 that the first two clients will arrive at the facility on Tuesday. To learn more about Warriors Heart, click on this link.
Copyright 2023 WWBT. All rights reserved.