Veterans Open Letter

Dear Veterans,

 

It’s an honor to have served after you, along side you, and to have been amongst those leading the way for many to come.

 

When I joined the Marine Corps at 17 I found myself part of a unit whose members came from all walks of life.  We trained hard, played hard, and fought hard –together as a unit. The collective bond we shared was unlike anything in the civilian sector. It was our sense of service to each other and something greater than us that was a driving force for our camaraderie.

 

Transitioning from that brotherhood to civilian life presented challenges I was not prepared to deal with.  Among these challenges was the disappointment that uncommon valor was no longer a common virtue.

 

Life after the service meant I was no longer a service member yet no longer a civilian. This in-between world of being a Veteran was frightening.  I thought the military defined who I was- without it, where did I belong?  I spent 5 years in this in-between state looking for my life’s purpose again.

Oddly enough, I found the answer where I least expected it; with my brothers in arms and horses.  Three years ago I began volunteering with Equine Therapy to serve fellow Veterans struggling with their war experiences and various challenges.  Along the way, I rediscovered the unbridled freedom of horses and the camaraderie amongst veterans.  Through this experience, I quickly learned how effective Equine Therapy was.  I began to see how these non-judgmental animals could neutralize the affects of Veteran’s PTSD, anxiety, depression and physical challenges.  These horses were effective barometers to help Vets with self awareness and they had the ability to make you feel understood and respected.

Ultimately, helping fellow Veterans with these animals helped me to find my way back to that brotherhood and sense of service.  This experience changed my life.  Since then, I have had the honor of designing a program that exemplifies the Esprit De Corps Veterans like I had been missing.  Operation Unbridled Freedom is a program where Veterans can be part of a cohesive unit; where we can de-compress from the stress of our daily lives, and where we can be of service to fellow veterans and the community once again.

With this open letter, I invite my fellow U.S. Veterans to join this elite team.  Whenever you are ready, we are here to serve along side you, once again.

 

 

Semper Fidelis,
Devon Sachey, Sgt. USMC
Program Director
Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center