Peace Ranch changing lives of veterans with PTSD

Peace Ranch offers clinical VA services through work with horses.

Allen Greenman's nightmares from Vietnam still drive him to tears.

â??Sometimes itâ??s hard to talk about, but those memories come back and you canâ??t stop them,â?? Greenman said.

Greenman was drafted by the Army in 1969. He spent 1970 in the jungles of Vietnam. When he got home, everything was different.

â??There were times on New Yearâ??s, if someone threw out firecrackers, it sounded like an AK-47 going off," Greenman said. "I was underneath the car and down in the slush.â??

Last year, Greenman came to Peace Ranch, a local ranch that donates time and resources to help veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

â??PTSD is really a systemic injury," Peace Ranch Founder Jackie Kaschel said. "Itâ??s the result of being in a situation where a person is in survival mode for days, weeks, really monthsâ?¦for our veterans itâ??s months on end.â??

Peace Ranch is a clinical program that offers VA services through work with horses. Greenman admits he was skeptical at first. However, growing up on a farm, he figured it was a type of treatment he could embrace and possibly enjoy.

It ended up changing his life. He said the horses connect with the veterans.

â??Me sitting here, talking with the group, youâ??d feel this presence and there would be one coming up, sticking his head over your shoulder," Greenman said. "They just come up for attention or whatever. Just to know that they didnâ??t shy away from us, they were there. Itâ??s just amazing."

Kaschel has seen veterans make a lot of progress with the program.

"One of our veterans told us this was the first time he had felt safe in 40 years," she said.

It's that safety and peace that has Greenman coming back long after his program ended. He now comes two or three times a week, and works with a blind horse and a farrell horse.

â??Itâ??s the peacefulness out here," Greenman said. "Thereâ??s no judgement from the horses, they take you for what you are, they never judge you. Period."