The sea is a powerful and mysterious entity, with the ability to both heal and challenge us. For veterans and first responders living with post-traumatic stress, it can offer a unique form of therapy known as adventure therapy. Skeleton Crew Adventures, a nonprofit dedicated to providing veterans and first responders with opportunities to heal and grow through the sea, recently took the Terra Arma team on a sailing trip in Galveston, Texas to better understand the impact of adventure therapy on those living with PTSD.
"The Skeleton Crew Sailing program is an incredible example of why we do the work we do with the Ascend Together Initiative at Terra Arma. This program provides adventure therapy for veterans and first responders that not only gives them a chance to be with other like minded individuals, but it helps its participants overcome their self-limiting beliefs." - David Reid
The team sailed on a traditional sailing vessel, surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. The trip was a unique and challenging adventure, providing an opportunity for healing and growth. We learned about seamanship, navigation, hoisting the sails, and teamwork, all while surrounded by the captivating views of the Gulf of Mexico. The weather conditions were variable, with calm seas and sunny skies giving way to wind, rain, and choppy waters, but the team persevered and learned to work together to overcome any obstacle that arose.
“Engaging with the world when the risk of harm is higher than normal, presents a unique opportunity to leave stagnation for aspiration. When you find something that you are willing to die for you gain perspective on exactly what kind of internal fortitude you have. The work to put in here comes when you recognize your own faults or vulnerabilities and apply this newfound perspective to strengthen your weaknesses.” - Adam Green
The impact of adventure therapy on veterans and first responders who are living with PTSD is well documented. These trips provide opportunities for participants to work through their experiences and begin to heal from PTSD in a supportive and challenging environment. The team learned to support each other and work together to overcome obstacles. This experience will stay with us and continue to provide, if not new lessons, at the very least accountability to be present in everything we do. Which is exactly the point of adventure therapy; giving tools to our nation's heroes that they may lead their own lives rather than reacting to it. Thus bettering themselves, our communities, and this great nation that we set out to protect in the first place.
"This program was an incredible reminder of what it's like to be with fellow servicemembers. Every day stresses and problems melt away on the deck. You are constantly having to pay attention to what is happening in the current moment, there is no room for outside thoughts. It's a powerful representation of how having a proper outlet can help you overcome any obstacle." - David Reid
Skeleton Crew Adventures is making a real difference in the lives of veterans and first responders who are living with PTSD. Their recent trip in Galveston, Texas with the Terra Arma team was a powerful demonstration of the impact that adventure therapy can have on individuals who are living with PTSD. The sea may be a challenging place, but for veterans and first responders, it can also offer a path to healing and growth. If you're interested in supporting organizations like Skeleton Crew Adventures that are dedicated to helping veterans and first responders heal from PTSD, consider making a donation or volunteering your time.
Self-Respect can hit in two different ways. One is through fitness. You have to take care of your body in order to thrive. If you just sit on the couch and eat potato chips then you will live a short unhappy life. Self-respect is treating your body like a temple and taking care of it to the best of your ability. The second way self-respect is important is mental health and asking for help. I’ve always played the game of admitting any of that is a weakness. After seeing so many of my peers find so much relief I finally found out how much seeking help and talking to people about it all can help. Without taking care of myself both physically and mentally there is no getting to the objective.
Today, nearly 200,000 of our American service members are deployed in more than 100 countries around the world. But our troops are not as equipped as we’d like to think. Many times, they need resources faster than the government can supply them. Red tape, supply chain issues, or equipment failures mean that our service members are sometimes in the field without the equipment they need to protect themselves or to do the job effectively. When our troops need operational gear, they don’t need it in a few weeks or months. They need it now. Troops Direct fills the gap to protect our service members by supplying them with the equipment they need— usually within days, anywhere around the world. Our troops sacrifice daily to protect us, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. It’s our duty to support them - to provide what they need to accomplish missions and come home safe and in one piece.
This year I am partnering with Legacies Alive, an organization focused on supporting our Nation’s Gold Star Families, by undertaking the 2023 Legacies Alive Challenge. On September 24, 2023, the 12th anniversary of Tyler’s death, I will begin a 425-mile, four week hike from Tyler’s hometown of Dana Point, CA and finish in Ricardo’s hometown of Salinas, CA. My mission is to honor, celebrate, and pay tribute to not just Tyler and Ricardo, but to all who have died in service to the United States of America. The money raised will go towards building permanent memorials, for both Tyler and Ricardo, in each of their hometowns respectively.
We live life dialed to eleven.
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