Xena Project and PTSD Foundation of America Celebrate Alliance, New Programs for Veterans

Beasley, Texas – The PTSD Foundation of America and The Xena Project celebrated formation of a strategic alliance during a ceremony on Saturday, August 15th, at The Xena Project’s facility west of Houston.

More than 100 veterans, family members, and community supporters were in attendance to hear from veterans involved in both organizations, participate in Xena Project programs from art therapy to the riding simulator, and enjoy food and fellowship.

“The Xena Project facilitates healing for veterans and their families with a focus on long-term relationships,” says Jan Shultis, a Navy veteran who founded The Xena Project after a deployment to Afghanistan embedded with the Army. “We can think of no better ally in the fight to strengthen the minds, hearts, and spirits of our fellow veterans than the PTSD Foundation of America. We are an organization where veterans serve veterans; we believe in the healing power of community.”

The organizations will work together to expand and enhance services for veterans and their families throughout the greater Houston area. Initiatives include the launch of Warrior Support Groups at The Xena Project facility in Fort Bend County. Warrior Support Groups are peer coaching and support gatherings, whose primary purpose is to help combat veterans find healing, balance and positive re-integration with their families and in society. Family Support Groups assist family members (spouse, parent, sibling, child, caretaker, etc.) of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers in understanding and healing.

“I wanted to die,” shared Army veteran Cameron Phillips of the time following his service in Afghanistan, during ceremony remarks. “I was estranged from my wife and children, turning to drugs and alcohol. I was homeless for about five months. I kept hearing about the PTSD Foundation of America and Camp Hope from people I met. When I finally went, they accepted me without judgment. Now I stand healthy and whole, and programs like The Xena Project continue that healing process. I am really excited they are joining together in a formal capacity; together they can make an even bigger difference.”

Ceremony speakers included retired Marine combat veteran Keith Shultis as Master of Ceremonies; retired Marine combat veteran Chuck Lightle, Chief Operating Officer at the PTSD Foundation of America; Navy veteran Jan Shultis, Founder and Director of The Xena Project; and Army combat veteran Cameron Phillips.  Bill Hogan, a retired Air Force pilot and Chaplain at The Xena Project, opened the festivities in prayer.

The ceremony concluded as veterans from both organizations placed handprints on miniature horse “Star” in a display of unity.  Participants included Retired Marine Steven Schulz, who incurred a Traumatic Brain Injury with associated paralysis and blindness in Fallujah, Iraq; a retired Army veteran who served in Desert Storm and Iraq; a female Army veteran who served in Iraq; and a former Marine and Vietnam veteran.

Following the ceremony, visiting veterans and their families toured the facility; participated in art therapy activities; watched a demonstration on the riding simulator, with an option to ride themselves; played horse shoes, basketball, and other games; viewed a classic car display set up by Vietnam veterans who served in the Army and Marine Corps; met the goats, Tony Llama, and miniature horse “Star;” and enjoyed food and fellowship.

The PTSD Foundation of America is a 501(c)3 faith-based charity corporation staffed primarily by combat veterans that ministers to veterans and families who suffer with PTSD and are distressed as a result of direct combat deployment and associated continuous high op tempo missions in direct support roles to direct combat forces employment.

The PTSD Foundation, both in its six-month residential program at Camp Hope in Houston, Texas, and in off-station Warrior and Family Support Groups throughout the country, uses the “Bridges to Healing” series, published by Military Ministry Press, as the backbone of peer-to-peer mentoring. The Foundation is expanding its program and association to permit greater utilization and cooperative alliances to better serve our veteran and military communities. For more information on PTSD and their programs, please visit ptsdusa.org.

The Xena Project is a veteran-operated 501(c)3 that facilitates healing of veterans and their families through equine and animal therapy. The only initiative of their kind in the country, The Xena Project attracts a broad spectrum of needs, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, and a myriad of other physical injuries. During the first half of 2015, more than 300 veterans and family members visited the facility, a sustained natural haven designed to promote peace and tranquility. The Xena Project is focused on five fundamental programs – Veterans Group Days, Veterans Private Sessions, Family Reunification, Counseling, and Animal Encounter Therapy; art therapy is incorporated into each offering. The inclusion of cutting-edge simulation technology makes them uniquely able to serve individuals with traumatic physical or brain injury. The Xena Project is focused on therapeutic value, striving for repeated exposure and building long-term relationships. Learn more at xenahorse.com.

Both the PTSD Foundation and The Xena Project regularly welcome those who served in Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. All services are provided free of charge.

——————————————–

On Friday, August 14th, veterans from Camp Hope, an in-residence program for veterans struggling with PTSD, spent the day preparing The Xena Project for the Alliance Ceremony and enjoying time with the animals.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Saturday, August 15th, The Xena Project celebrated a strategic alliance with the PTSD Foundation of America.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tags:

Categories: Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: