Veterans celebrated their graduation from the 23rd Veteran program

Updated: January 23, 2021 10:30 PM
Created: January 23, 2021 09:04 PM

Veterans enrolled in the 23rd Veteran program celebrated their graduation Saturday at the Great Lakes Aquarium.

The 14-week mental health program aims to free veterans from a life of isolation, anxiety, panic, and depression through outdoor wellness, CrossFit, and psychology.

“With our new trusting team, we experience common negative triggers from the military, but in a positive environment. Doing so allows our brain to re-associate old negative triggers to new positive and trusting memories. The result is often removing common triggers so they no longer cause anxiety and panic,” reads a passage from the programs website. 

This class of graduates began their program with a one-week Alaskan adventure which got things off to a positive start.

“You could definitely see how, even from the very beginning of that Alaskan adventure, it shifted people’s thinking and got them approaching the world in a different way,” said Nathan Helder, the Secretary of the Board of Directors for 23rd veteran, “Just feeling stronger to have that team together again to help them have people that they can rely on and count on and feel alone in the world.”

Helder, who himself participated in this session of the 14-week course, went on to say that it was valuable to him learning the stories of 10 other veterans and “the efforts they’ve made to continue moving forward.”

More information on the program, including how to donate, can be found here

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