Twenty two soldiers commit suicide every day, but an air force veteran and his non-profit are combating PTSD and depression with the great outdoors.
Chris Holt served his country in three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, but when he came back home to Quanah, he struggled to find his place until he met air force veteran Gordon Melton.
“They go through the training and go through the war where all of their brothers are dependent on them for their life and they get home and they feel like ‘what’s my purpose?'” said Melton with ‘Hunting with Soldiers.’
Gordon takes combat veterans like Chris out on hunts and fishing trips to help them re-adjust to civilian life. He’s helped hundreds of former soldiers and attracted partnerships with local ranchers like the owner of the Brown Ranch in Henrietta, Vietnam Veteran Scott Catlin.
“I’ve made some lifelong friends with these heroes and I call them heroes,” Catlin said. “As a combat vet, vietnam type, I know I can relate to these veterans.”
“When they get home, it creates a domino effect,” Melton said. “They’re more calm around their wife. They’re a more gentle person. They feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve got a purpose in life. You know, life is worth living.'”
That’s why another army vet, Bradly Bowers and his wife Sharon wanted to Pay It Forward to Hunting With Soldiers so Gordon can continue to help more veterans find peace back home.
“My motto is: If you would fight for me, I will fight for you,” Bowers said. “It’s what you got to do. Everybody should do it.”
If you’d like more information on hunting for soldiers, including how to donate here.