The U.S. military is currently in the midst of a battle against PTSD, with one study estimating that over 30% of veterans suffer from it at some point during their lifetime. A new program created by Mighty Oaks aims to help these soldiers recover through video games and other activities like sports training conducted on-site by trained professionals
The “mighty oaks foundation chad robichaux” is a program that serves U.S. veterans suffering from PTSD. The program offers free treatment to vets with the goal of helping them get back on their feet and reintegrate into society.
Since 2012, Sky Rose Ranch has sponsored the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs.
On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., the globe commemorated the conclusion of World War I, dubbed Armistice Day.
In 1938, the day the world hoped would bring an end to the war to end all wars became a national holiday. Veteran’s Day was established in 1954 as a day to commemorate all veterans.
We now know that World Conflict I was not the end-all war. Even when troops return home, their fight is never really done.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
In 1980, the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) was first used as a diagnostic diagnosis. PTSD symptoms were formerly referred to as “shell shock.”
Since then, 13.8 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have developed PTSD.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs in the United States:
- In a given year, around 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20 percent) who participated in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) experience PTSD.
- In a given year, around 12 out of every 100 Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans (or 12 percent) suffer from PTSD.
- At the time of the most recent research, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, in the late 1980s, around 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were presently diagnosed with PTSD (NVVRS). It is expected that 30 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 30 percent) would have PTSD at some point in their lives.
- In 2018, there were 17.6 veteran suicides every day on average.
Chad Robichaux, an MMA fighter, was diagnosed with PTSD after serving eight tours of duty as a United States Marine Corps Force Recon.
His diagnosis inspired him to start the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping PTSD-affected soldiers and first responders.
Through a variety of programs, outpost meetings, and speaking engagements, the Mighty Oaks Foundation is devoted to assisting the brokenhearted by delivering rigorous peer-based discipleship.
Jamie Warner contributed the images.
Mighty Oaks began in Colorado in 2011 and has now expanded to four sites, including one in Paso Robles at the Sky Rose Ranch.
“Our mission is to serve our nation’s warriors and their families who have endured hardships in their service to America, whether they are a veteran, active duty, or a first responder, and help them find new life purpose through hope and Christ through the different programs we offer,” Jamie Warner, the foundation’s West Coast Regional Facilitator and former USMC Naval Aviator, said.
“We are openly a faith-based program,” he says.
For veterans, there are five programs available:
- Men’s Legacy Program
- Women’s Legacy Program
- Resilience Programs for Military Personnel
- Advancement in Marriage
Since 2012, Sky Rose Ranch has hosted the Mighty Oaks and is primarily responsible for the Legacy Program for men and women. Since its start, the nonprofit has helped nearly 4,000 veterans, according to Warner.
The Veterans, or Warriors as they are known here, who attend are completely supported for their training, food, and accommodation requirements, ensuring that when they arrive at the ranch, each Warrior is totally focused on his or her rehabilitation and future mission.
The Mighty Oaks Warrior programs are supported entirely by individual donations. Nobody will ever have to pay for transportation to and from the program, or for anything else while they are there.
“We strive to keep such excuses away,” Warner explains. It is entirely funded by contributions from Americans who value their service—we will do whatever it takes to get them there.”
Jamie Warner took the photos.
A horseback ride at the Work-Family Ranch in San Miguel is one of the Warriors’ favorite hobbies. Since the Mighty Oaks first arrived in Paso Robles, the Work-family has been a staunch supporter.
“We are religious, but we don’t push our beliefs on others—we do what works for us,” Warner added.
At Mighty Oaks, all of the teachers and counselors have completed the program and are themselves veterans.
“They are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders—you can see it on their faces when they come,” Warner remarked.
He notes that for many of the veterans they meet, Mighty Oaks is a last choice, and that there is always an emotional moment to see.
“You’ll often hear people say things like, ‘I have a greater fraternity now than I ever had in the military, and I never thought that was possible.’ Every week, I see incredible transformations that never fail to astound me.”
The Mighty Oaks Foundation describes how their projects are most effective.
Participants discover common ground via shared experiences and understanding, providing for more opportunity for development and recovery among the guys, thanks to peer leadership. Men build real character and learn to live a life of leadership through learning the truth about discipline, fraternity, legacy, bravery, honor, faith, and family. We provide our Warriors with the tools they need to face life’s obstacles and find the true meaning of their lives going forward.”
A widespread assumption among civilians and veterans, according to Warner, is that a soldier suffering from PTSD is broken and damaged.
One point Warner emphasizes to soldiers is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not a disease. Instead, they strive to teach people to recognize that post-traumatic stress disorder is a natural response to the unusual and horrible conditions that soldiers and first responders often encounter.
Visit mightyoaksprograms.org to discover more about the Mighty Oaks Foundation, give, or apply for the program.
We salute all Veterans for their bravery, devotion, and hard work in defending the American liberties we cherish. Thank you, too, to the military families for their unwavering support, tenacity, and sacrifice.
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