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Hunting event helps veterans heal - KOAM TV 7

Hunting event helps veterans heal

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LIBERAL, MISSOURI -

Studies show that most veterans suffer from depression, anxiety, or PTSD after returning from war. Peterson Outdoors Ministries provides a unique form of therapy.

It’s a waiting game, staring out into the open field looking for something to hunt, a calm environment that Jared Hoerrmann loves.

“It’s the trees, grass, the animals and you and its quiet. Everything out there, you know, they're not a threat,” says Hoerrmann.

A stark contrast to what he felt serving in the Army in Afghanistan. When he returned home, he wasn't the same person.

“I was shut off and I didn't care to talk to my family, I didn't care to talk to my friends,” he continues.

Last year he participated in the Peterson Outdoors Ministries Wounded Warrior Hunt, an annual event to help injured veterans heal. Hoerrmann says the experience changed his perspective on his physical and emotional injuries.

“This entire weekend is about healing the broken heart. So many of these guys come back and they feel like they don't fit into society anymore,” says Tron Peterson with the ministry.

“Our focus is not our problems. Our focus is the positive things in life. What we have to be thankful for, the days that we are able to get up and go enjoy this beautiful weather or go out and the ability to sit in the stand to see the animals. It makes us more appreciative,” says Hoerrmann.

Each day 22 veterans in the country will commit suicide, a number this program is trying to shrink.

“This event plays a large role in bringing awareness to the need for suicide prevention," says Peterson.

And it's a problem Hoerrmann has watched fellow vets struggle with, motivating him to volunteer.

“We’ve all been there in our own situations, your situation is different than my situation but we're a family here and you don't have to worry about anything,” he says.

It gives him the opportunity to calm the mind of another wounded warrior.

150 vets have gone through the program over the last 7 year. Peterson Outdoors Ministries says it is a "lifetime follow up program," maintaining the relationships to keep suicides down.

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