Veterans Get The Thrill of a Lifetime With Windy Warrior Project
The Maine Veteran's Project gives back to our service members in many ways.
Back in July, the program took two veterans to the skies.
Sunday, the Windy Warriors program gave back to those veterans by giving them a sweet ride and the thrill of a lifetime.
"This is our first wave of ten veterans that we soon hope to turn into thousands."
Sunday, was the chance of a lifetime for these vets.
First, a ride in style to Vacationland Skydiving.
A place offering quite the rush for veterans across the state.
An idea that started out of the blue.
"I took my mother skydiving and when I saw what it did for her, I thought we had something special, so we took our first two veterans and after the beta test of our first two veterans, I knew we had something way bigger than I ever imagined."
The Windy Warrior Adrenaline Therapy Program takes an outside of the box approach to dealing with PTSD and suicide prevention by taking to the skies.
"Jumping out of an airplane is one of the most extreme things anyone could ever do in their lifetime, much like combat. So, that's what we're trying to do. We are trying to recreate combat in a fun and safe way."
Joining the vets on this special mission was Congressmen, Bruce Poliquin who hears from veterans every day who are srtuggling to transition back into society after combat.
"A lot of this therapy involves physical activity, excitement, and adrenaline, and all the things that they have experienced in the battlefield. This is a good form of an adrenaline rush and jumping out of planes, perfectly good planes with a lot of help and support to make sure it's very safe is something to be early on proven to be very successful."
According to the Maine Bureau of Veteran Services over 19,000 veterans have experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
And many of these veterans have seen or experienced those demons first hand.
"I lost my uncle to suicide about two years ago this October. He was in the Marine Corps with my husband and I and he actually deployed with my husband so it hit us real hard and our healing process has been really rough."
For Army Veteran, Brandon Deaton, this experience was like no other.
"It's hard to put into words. It was just an amazing experience and I wasn't thinking about anything else."
Combining therapy and sports opens up that adrenaline rush, and most importantly it gives these vets a piece of mind.
"It was really calm and stuff and when you open up the door, man that adrenaline kicked in and it felt amazing."
After taking the plunge, these veterans would recommend this jump of a lifetime to all service members, especially those struggling with life after combat.
"I urge all veterans, if you're considering it, you need someone to talk to, get out there, schedule that appointment, and start talking to somebody because that end of it in itself is a stress relief."
If you would like to learn more about the Windy Warrior Program visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wwatp/?ref=br_rs.