It’s estimated a military veteran commits suicide each hour of every day. One organization hopes to change that by helping vets fight their way back to restoration.
Healing for Hidden Battle Scars
Veterans fighting overseas not only suffer physically but emotionally as well –- hidden battle scars that make life difficult back home.
That’s where “Operation Restored Warrior” comes in. To find it, CBN News traveled to the heart of Colorado.
With its wide open spaces and large horse corral, the 4 Eagle Ranch resembles something out of the Old West. But take a closer look and you’ll see much more. Organizers of Operation Restored Warrior say it’s a location where healing takes place.
While the program welcomes all faiths, its core Christian ministry is the five-day program called the “Drop Zone.”
“A ‘drop zone’ is a place in enemy territory where you go take that ground,” Keith Poole, Army veteran and ORW facilitator, told CBN News. “And very often in kind of Christian environments we refer to things as retreats. ‘I’m going to go to a retreat,’ and that just didn’t sit well with us as professional military men.”
“It’s like why are we retreating? How about if we go gain ground?” Poole continued. “So we specifically call coming to a Drop Zone, a counter-attack, and that appeals to warriors.”
Rescue, Rebuild and Restore
That counter attack is three-fold: rescue, rebuild and restore.
“Warriors come to this place because they’re looking for hope, and often the enemy has just beat them down,” Poole explained. “But this is the place where they know there’s some hope, and when they get here what they find out is that this is where healing is.”
“And that hope and healing is here because Jesus is here,” he continued.
The intensive program involves targeting areas of the heart that need healing. ORW leaders hold to the belief, “Psychology reveals; Jesus heals,” and say it’s been proven hundreds of times.
For participants like Navy veteran Paul Williams, the program can be a literal life-saver.
“July 2nd of this year I had written a note, and I was ready to go,” he shared with CBN News. “And it just didn’t happen. I went back to my truck to go get the gun, and it wasn’t there.”
“So I just started praising Jesus with my praise and worship music and said, ‘You know what, I need to give this ORW, Operation Restored Warrior, a really good shot,'” Williams continued.
And that decision led to victory.
“I was able to open up to Paul, the founder of ORW, about all the trash that I’ve been carrying, and it felt so good to finally just let it out,” Williams explained. “I can’t thank this organization enough.”
“I came here fightin’ for my life, and I’m going to walk away a champion,” he said, trying to fight back tears. “So I love them a lot, and I’m super thankful for it.”
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