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Healing in The Everglades

Healing in The Everglades

Healing in The Everglades

By Shane Suzuki, Miami VA Healthcare System
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The power of nature to help heal is well documented, especially for those who are recovering from the invisible wounds of war like PTSD and TBI. In South Florida, nature is nearly synonymous with one of the largest protected natural wonders in the United States – The Everglades.

Recently, wounded Veterans from the Miami VA Healthcare System were invited to spend a special day in the Everglades. Hosted by the Airboat Association of Florida, this event brought Veterans and their families into the heart of the “River of Grass” for a day of food, music, prizes and airboats.

“We were so excited to do this for these Veterans,” said Mary McKinney from the AAOF. “We are already looking forward to next year so we can do it again.”

This event is one example of a growing partnership between the Miami VA and organizations dedicated to preserving The Everglades. By combining outdoor activities with therapeutic staff and resources, many Veterans are finding peace in the opportunity to connect with fellow Veterans and their families in a natural setting.

The Airboat Association of Florida is one of the oldest, active conservation organizations in the State of Florida. The group was established in 1951 by a group of sportsmen and conservationists to promote the preservation and conservation of all native species of flora and fauna in the State of Florida and The Everglades so that residents and our many visitors will always be able to enjoy them.

Find out more about the Miami VA Recreational Therapy program at www.miami.va.gov/services/rehabilitation.asp.

More photos of the “Day in the Everglades” can be found on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vamiami 

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