The Office of Military and Veteran Services is partnering with two local nonprofits to help bring awareness to veterans in the Marywood community. The organizations are Equines for Freedom and Warrior Strong.
Equines for Freedom is an organization that helps treat active and former military personnel who are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the help of therapeutic horses.
Marywood Student Veterans Alliance President Nicholas Nebraski said one of the great parts about this organization is that they help treat veterans with PTSD without reporting to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“So many veterans don’t want to go to the VA and Equines found a way to still help those veterans,” said Nebraski. “They don’t report to the VA, which means those veterans who don’t want to go to the VA, for whatever the reason, can get the help they need.”
The other organization Warrior Strong offers free yoga lessons for veterans and their dependents twice a month in downtown Scranton.
Both of these organizations are still in their infancy phases, which Director of Military and Veteran Services Christopher Smith said he sees as a positive factor.
“We’re really excited to not only partner with these organizations but to also help and watch them grow,” said Smith.
Smith said the main motivation for partnering with these organizations was to help veterans integrate more with the community and campus life.
“We want to dispel some of the stigmas that some of the non-veterans have with veterans so that they can see that we’re actually young, vibrant and community-based people,” said Smith.
Smith said he believes these partnerships will be a success for both the organizations and the Office of Military and Veteran Services.
“[We’re] getting more involved with the community while offering programs to veterans that are at no cost to them, while also helping these organizations grow. So it’s sort of a win-win situation,” Smith said.
The office will host “Warrior Strong Yoga” at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 after the Veterans Day celebration. Community leaders, professors, veterans, students and cadets will all be a part of this session.
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