Veterans are finding the most unlikely solace in the most knowing of animals.
In central Texas, an organization is working with the Wounded Warriors project to help former soldiers find their way and resume their lives stateside.
At Healing with Horses Ranch in Manor, near Austin, a program matches the ex-soldiers with horses — to great results.
“It has helped me, like, maybe relax and calm down, you know, I’m not thinking about what’s out there … just live in the moment,” said Manuel Moran Gomez, a former Marine.
Gomez served six years in the Corps, with five deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“You always wonder what ifs or buts, what happened in combat? And I just want to be happy you know. That’s one of the main reasons I like coming here,” said Gomez.
Program director Patty D’Andrea has a simple motive behind her work with the Wounded Warrior Project: she wants to give veterans “a place where they feel safe.”
D’Andrea should know: Her dad was in the Air Force for more than 30 years.