The United States has deployed more than 2.4 million servicemembers to hostile fire zones worldwide to support the Global War on Terror.
Many come back with scars. Some are physical, clearly visible. Others are harder to see. The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs estimates that 20% of those returning from Iraq and 11% of those returning from Afghanistan suffer from symptoms of PTSD. Even those without those symptoms often struggle to reintegrate into normal life. Not one of us returns from war unchanged by what we’ve seen and done.
The problem is already widespread, and the VA system struggles to meet needs, often alienating even those willing to seek help, driving them away with treatments seen as ineffective or even harmful by the very veterans they attempt to help. In response, many independent veterans’ organizations have sprung to life, working to address the shortfalls present in the current VA system.
Xtreme Sports 4 Veterans is one such group. Begun as a doctorate project in Occupational Therapy, the concept grew from a simple, yet profound statement from a veteran interviewed for the project:
“Riverboarding saved my life.”
A Brotherhood Reforged joined Xsports4vets in 2011, their first year as an independent entity. It documents their time on the river, their reaction to the program and delves into the science of why the program is so effective. It presents an alternative to traditional therapy that could benefit trauma survivors anywhere in the world.
For more information, go to: brotherhoodreforgedmovie.com