Edited Press Release
ACTT Naturally has launched a fundraising and awareness campaign seeking sponsorship for war veterans to participate in its highly acclaimed ‘Hearts in Harmony’ equine assisted learning program. The goal is full sponsorship for 21 vets before Veteran’s Day Nov. 11. Full sponsorship for a veteran to attend a program is $200. The program connects off-track Thoroughbreds with adults, teens and children in need.
According to the Department of Military Affairs, an average
of 22 veterans commit suicide in the US every day.
“We can help lower this number,” says Valerie Buck, who
oversees ‘Hearts in Harmony’ and ACTT Naturally.
Her methods, used in “Hearts in Harmony” establishes trust and communication between the horses and the veterans who learn to cope with pain, depression and other ill effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“With our off-track thoroughbreds, we build confidence, empowerment, peace of mind and joy,” said Buck.
Hearts in Harmony meets two to three times per month in Duanesburg, NY with as many as six veterans in each session.
“Our workshops fill up quickly and I am aware of many other vets in need who would like to attend.” said Buck, “If we raise the necessary sponsorship funds, we can add additional workshops to accommodate more participants. We also need volunteers for all aspects of the program.”
One volunteer assisting Buck is Gulf War veteran Penny Lee Deere.
“Many of the vets are unable to work, or are on a fixed income due to physical or emotional disability. This highly effective therapy is not covered by the V.A.,” said Deere.
Dr. Christine Rem, DNS and COL Retired US Army Nurse Corps and Operation Iraqi Freedom Women Veteran, says of the effectiveness of the program: “Valerie and the horses serve up a healthy dose of ‘equine medicine’ which is so soothing to the body and soul that I recommend it to all.”