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Veterans welcomed at therapy facility in Lackawanna County

The horses and humans will be here Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for all veterans who need help.

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. — This past week has been challenging for U.S. veterans.

Recognizing that - a facility in Lackawanna County that provides therapy to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder is opening its doors to all veterans this weekend.

The flag is at half-staff on the farm where Equines for Freedom does its work near Clarks Summit. 

This week, it is very important work.

"We treat veterans with post-traumatic stress. And we've heard here with the things that have been going on, some of the veterans, especially Vietnam veterans, are having a relapse. They're really having a hard time dealing with everything. Some of the guys that I know are crying because of everything going on," said Bruce Spencer, Vietnam veteran.

Following the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the deaths of 13 service members there, the staff at Equines for Freedom felt they had to do something.

The facility uses horses in its therapy, and this weekend, the entire staff, two-legged and four, are available to any veteran who may be struggling. 

"All veterans are invited to come. It's not going to be therapy. It's going to be veterans talking to veterans to help with calming and easing the symptoms that they're having based on the experiences that have gone on this week," said Ann Marie Lewis with Equines for Freedom.

While this weekend will be more about the interactions between humans, the horses remain a cornerstone of the work.

The therapists say horses are often more perceptive of emotions than humans are. 

"They can also act as a battle buddy, someone that you feel comfortable around that you feel secure with," said Bob Tagert, Vietnam veteran.

The horses and humans will be here Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for all veterans who need help.

"Nothing but good coming here, really, it'll help," said Robbie Long with Equines for Freedom.

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