August 2018
Business of the Month
Healing America's Heroes

The Chama Valley Chamber of Commerce is Proud to Announce that Healing America’s Heroes was selected as the August Business of the Month.

Veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may find aid in an unconventional place: the great outdoors. Healing America’s Heroes Founder Eddie Crain said he started the nonprofit organization eight years ago. To date, there have been 40 veterans who have completed the program. He explained participants enter the week-long program to either learn horseback riding or fly fishing at the organization’s property at Chama. The entire program from lodging to meals is free of charge to veterans. Healing America’s Heroes operates solely on donations. “We work off of donations and grants,” Crain said. Volunteers are also always needed. Healing America’s Heroes is 100 percent volunteer-operated. “We can always use community volunteers,” Crain said. Healing America’s Heroes Board Member Don Brooks said even the 10 acres of land the program operates on was donated. “It gives us a home now.” Donations, Brooks added, are always welcomed. “We’re looking for donations of anything and everything we can get.” Crain explained being outdoors can help those with PTSD; they usually feel anger or frustration “and by being around animals and being in nature, it releases that out of them.” He added, “We decided to start this program 10 years ago. We know what PTSD issues are and how it affects people.” The organization can also aid with suicide prevention. “We’re losing 22 veterans a day,” Crain said, adding, “It affects a lot of people. The program has made an impact on participants. “It’s really made a big difference,” Brooks said. He pointed out of the 40 veterans who have taken part in the program, 30 have returned to volunteer. “They want to do their part,” Brooks said. For instance, one veteran from Tombstone, Ariz., who participated in the program has traveled back to volunteer as a cook every year since. Another participant changed his degree to counseling after finishing the program. Working with veterans is just the start. Crain said the hope is to expand services to those with autism, attention deficit disorder or have a mental handicap. If interested in applying to the program, the applications can be accessed online at the Healing America’s Heroes’ website.