In the United States, a staggering 16 million veterans, accompanied by 1.4 million active
service members and 4.6 million first responders—including firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics—constitute a dedicated group. While these individuals embody bravery and resilience, their roles are far from easy. Each day, they confront challenges that surpass the comprehension of many, ranging from destruction and violence to injury and death. Such experiences take a profound toll on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The aftermath of exposure to combat or traumatic events often manifests in conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Even those without combat exposure may grapple with stress and anxiety arising from the demands of military life, coupled with physical health issues such as chronic pain, sleep disorders, and heart disease. Sadly, the list of challenges is extensive, yet it is crucial to recognize that help is within reach.
Various therapeutic approaches are available to support veterans, active service members, and first responders, with recreational therapy standing out among them. Research indicates that engaging in recreation therapy and creative arts therapy programs yields a considerable number of positive health outcomes. Recreational therapy is a dynamic process employing recreational and activity-based interventions to address the needs of individuals grappling with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. It serves as a conduit to enhance psychological and physical health, foster recovery, and promote overall well-being.
Fortunately, dedicated organizations and nonprofits actively spearhead initiatives to facilitate recreational therapy for those in need. A friend and acquaintance of MSI is one of those programs. Comanche Outdoors, is a Northern Virginia-based nonprofit committed to serving the emotional and physical rehabilitation needs of active duty service members, veterans, and first responders. Comanche Outdoors passionately raises funds for recreational therapy as well as encourages their local community to take part in the growth of all those who continue to sacrifice their lives.
Their mission extends to providing opportunities for cognitive enhancement and stress, depression, and anxiety reduction through outdoor activities fostering a connection with nature, and building camaraderie. Hosting diverse activities such as fishing, deer, goose, game bird, and turkey hunting, Comanche Outdoors creates an inclusive environment. Additionally, the organization collaborates with a local canine program, partnering with the Backyard Canine Academy. This joint effort focuses on pairing trained service dogs with service members, veterans, and first responders, contributing to stress reduction, anxiety alleviation, depression mitigation, combating loneliness, promoting exercise, and enhancing overall health.
Comanche Outdoors remains deeply committed to actively involving veterans and first responders through the creation of innovative therapeutic outdoor activities. Leveraging the local environment and historical context, the organization is currently exploring activities such as metal detecting. An upcoming event highlights a retired Marine instructing a group of veterans on the basics of metal detecting, all while embarking on a quest for Civil War-era relics. Comanche Outdoors consistently employs diverse approaches to group participants throughout the year.
Corps Solutions, a valued client of MSI, consistently demonstrates its commitment to community support through an annual charity golf tournament. In a laudable gesture, the entirety of the proceeds from this event is donated to a local nonprofit organization. In the spotlight this year is Comanche Outdoors, selected with pride as the beneficiary of the Corps Solutions 2023 Charity Golf Tournament. The tournament, held on October 2, not only featured golf but also included a variety of games, activities, and prizes throughout the day.
This yearly event has become a highly anticipated tradition for MSI, and as our partnership with Comanche has deepened, we take pride in witnessing the positive impact they make on those in need. If you have a moment, please take the time to visit their website and if you know any veterans that could benefit from their recreational therapy, please reach out to them. If would like to donate please click the button below.