Healing America’s Heroes (HAH), a 501( c )(3) Nonprofit Organization, was founded by Vietnam veteran Eddie Crain in 2014 in response to the large number of suicides of military members returning from combat (22 per day according to a 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). The mission of Healing America’s Heroes (HAH) has been to help heal combat veterans and active duty service members who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by offering a 5-day program of recreational equine (horse) and piscatorial (fly-fishing/fly-tying) therapies in the peaceful and calming environment of beautiful rural Chama, NM, at no cost to participants.
The program is typically staffed by experienced horsemen and fly-fishermen, a fly-tying expert, and life skills counselors/therapists who are veterans from various branches of the military, and the majority are combat veterans who can relate to and communicate well with the participating veterans and Armed Services members. This peer-to-peer relationship is important to build trust so that participants in the program can relax and enjoy the learning experience. When they bring this positive experience home, they can continue to enjoy these adaptive sports and recreational activities and nurture a positive environment within their families. By providing these adaptive sports and recreational therapies, HAH “helps veterans help themselves” through developing skills and techniques for their healing. HAH’s goal is to help reduce, and ultimately minimize, the suicide rate of our returning warriors.