FRIERSON, LA (KSLA) - A DeSoto Parish man is working toward helping veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
To do that, he is going to be using horses.
"I made a bond with a horse of my own many years ago," said Kevin Russell, who has a passion for horses. "And I wanted to share that process with the world.
"But I wanted to make a really big change by doing that to help people."
That's the nonprofit he started three years ago that uses thoroughbreds to help veterans with PTSD.
"It lets them know that the horses have some of the same issues that they do. So they're going to be working with something that they can help, as well as they can get helped from," said Russell.
Every day, 22 veterans with PTSD kill themselves. That's a statistic Russell finds completely unacceptable.
"If you've come to a point where you think there is no point, there is no hope, don't give up. Because there is actually something that can help you."
Warrior Horse is a three-day program during which veterans will learn about horse behavior or, as Russell calls it, "horsehavior." They will learn why the horses behave the way they do.
"I want them to actually experience the bonding process with the horse because what that does is it's a catalyst for release," Russell explained. "It resets a circuit breaker that went off and got tripped when they encountered the trauma. With that being reset, they can get back on with their lives."
Russell went through a similar program in the country and modeled Warrior Horse on it. He's also done extensive research to prepare for when they start helping veterans.
The program should start working with veterans in the next month or two. The only thing they're waiting for is a round, enclosed pen to use with the veterans and the horses, Russell said.
To learn more about Warrior Horse, click here. To contact Russell about getting into the program, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.