NEWTON TOWNSHIP – Veterans suffering from PTSD now have a new nonprofit in Lackawanna County that can help them heal in a nontraditional way.
It’s called Equines for Freedom and they’re helping service members past and present heal scars from their service in a new way free of cost.
Helping heal scars for our country’s heroes Is a big job, but these horses and a new nonprofit are up for the challenge here in the Clarks Summit area.
Equines for Freedom is now open.
Its mission: to help heal past and present service members suffering from PTSD using a therapy that helps vets cope better with scarring memories.
"We are the only approved certified team in the State of Pennsylvania and there are less than 100 of us in the world,” said Equines for Freedom Psychologist Ann Marie Lewis.
Navy veteran Eric Davis, of Scott Township, says this special EMDR therapy was a saving grace for him and his wife Johanna.
“I stopped having the bursts of anger and the yelling and stomping away. I was notorious for running away,” said Eric Davis.
His wife Johanna added, "He's more himself again, the light was back in his eyes, he was more calm. He slept more peacefully.”
The new nonprofit is partnering up and sharing space with another well-known equine therapy non-profit that helps kids, Marley’s Mission.
“It made all the sense in the world to take this incredible power of healing and be able to transfer it to a group of people who have given so much to so many,” said Gene Talerico of Marley's Mission.
Grant money that came from local casinos is allowing this non-profit to build a new arena just for veterans here alongside Marley’s Mission.
Davis and his wife sat they plan to be here every step of the way, helping give back to other heroes who need a helping hand.
"To be able to give other people that they can make it through and that there's a way to fix things,” said Eric Davis.
"You're not alone and people understand it and they're here to help and support and guide and comfort,” said Johanna Davis.
Officials with Equines for Freedom say the arena should be built by January 2016. Until then, they will share arenas with Marley’s Mission. Service members who want to learn more about this organization can click here.