Tonya Hollederer, Grand Island mom of a PTSD veteran spoke to Mel Camp. She said her son Cory wanted to sign up when he was 17. His first deployment was pretty rough. A good friend of his was killed by IAD.
Cory grew up on Grand Island. He went to Iraq twice and also to Afghanistan before returning home to make the transition back into civilian life. His mom says he wanted to open up a restaurant with a military theme, but he was never able to get himself on tract and she says they never realized his PTSD was as bad as it was.
Karen Dalton, founder and executive director of Dare to Dream Ranch says our veterans are trained basically they are told when they have issues to suck it up buttercup; you have to keep going; you have to force your way through it and sometimes they need to have help and support and not just suck it up and take whatever is being dealt to them and we hope to be able to offer those different opportunities here at the ranch.
The Dare to Dream Ranch is in Rhode Island. It is a military retreat set up to help veterans achieve their goals upon returning to ordinary life.
Tonya Hollederer says what’s unique about Dare to Dream Ranch is there is no judgement. She says they can say whatever they want, they are talking to other veterans. It’s not like they are talking to a social worker who has never been through it. Hollederer goes on to say you can talk about what you need or don’t talk or if you want to walk the trails with another veteran go ahead.
Dare to Dream Ranch offers alternative therapy programs for veterans and their families suffering the challenges of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and more.
Karen Dalton says traditional therapy is talk therapy and a lot of veterans don’t want to talk. They have horses, bee keeping, trails and woodworking at the ranch.
If Dare to Dream Ranch can raise $50,000 by April 1st, The United Way of Rhode Island will match that donation. Hollederer is rallying Western New Yorkers to donate in Corey’s honor. Future plans for the ranch include a gift shop, more land for cattle and adding tiny homes. They can live there at no cost and work the ranch and save money to buy their own place.