Quitman Ranch Aimed at Keeping Soldiers Alive One Horse At a Time

By Eames Yates
May 9, 2013

Quitman, GA -

Nearly all combat veterans return from war with some sort of scar. But it's the emotional ones - the ones you can't see - that can often be too much to bare.

Mike Randall is the founder of Hopes & Dreams. He said "right now it's a big problem. We're losing twenty four [soldiers] a day."

That's why Randall, who is a Vietnam veteran, founded Hopes and Dreams in Quitman. The program connects horses with combat vets who care for and ride them.

Jeremy Randall is an Iraq war veteran. He said "my mind had to be focused on here and what I was doing with these animals. And that took my mind off the stress of the war, the memories of the war and what else was going on in my life."

Aaron Rogers is also an Iraq war veteran. "it helps take your mind off of stuff a lot. It's calm and peaceful riding around knowing ain't nobody after you, ain't nobody going to mess with you or nothing like that."

Hopes and Dreams was founded in 2008. Since then more than two thousand soldiers have been helped through horse therapy.

Randall said "we've had a hundred percent success with each and every one. We've actually stopped five suicides out here on the grounds, so it's critical what we're doing."


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