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Montana vets get healing help through equine therapy - KXLF.com | Continuous News | Butte, Montana

Montana vets get healing help through equine therapy

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(MTN News photo) (MTN News photo)
KALISPELL -

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs veterans make up less than nine percent of the country's population but account for 18 percent of all suicides, and every day 20 veterans commit suicide.

But as our Nicole Miller reports, there is hope for them in Northwest Montana where horses are helping them heal.

Lloyd Bondy is one of millions of veterans who served our country honorably, but he now lives with PTSD from when he was an Air Force mechanic back in 1992. It was in Harlem, Montana when two C-141's collided mid-air, killing 13.

And there are hundreds of thousands of veterans just like him.

"I feel sick when I wake up and I've woken up in sweats where there is an outline of me in the bed, but the worst of them is I get all kinds of nightmares," Lloyd said.

But Lloyd has found healing thanks to Vets Valor, a nonprofit organization offering equine therapy to veterans and first responders in Northwest Montana.

For Lloyd and other brave veterans and first responders like him, Vets Valor offers the equine therapy at no charge, with hope it will help heal their invisible wounds.

"When I come here, I feel relaxed, I feel like I'm on top of the world," Lloyd said. "I mean, it's great to work with these big creatures. I thrive on personal connection and also the connection with the horse."

"We can all heal, there is no time frame on healing," says trainer Stacia Stevens. "It is a process and as long as we stay as consistent as we can, we're all going to get through it."

Three veterans are now receiving therapy at the ranch, but Vets Valor says they hope to increase that number to 25 and eventually purchase their own facility. You can click here for more information.

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