Veteran’s group uses horse therapy to support kids during Month of the Military Child
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - April is the Month of the Military Child and a group of Kentuckians are honoring the members of families who are often overlooked.
“It’s a month that we get to really focus on the needs of military children of the folks who served,” said Jeremy Harrell, founder and CEO of Veteran’s Club Inc.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there are more than 1.6 million military children of active duty members.
“They have parents who are away training often or there’s multiple deployments, there’s a lot of separation,” Harrell said.
He has four of his own.
“Military children move to a new location, they don’t always get the opportunity to create those new connections, those long-term friendships, so we provide a space for them to do that at the farm out with the horses,” he said.
The Veteran’s Club uses animals to break down barriers. More than 50 children went to a Taylorsville farm Saturday to learn about horses, interact with other kids, and have conversations about being the child of a veteran or first responder.
“They really just allow us to practice our communication, our body language and how to overcome a lot of the challenges,” he said.
Harrell said military children have to make sacrifices many adults wouldn’t understand.
“I can’t get too attached to mom or dad because I don’t see them a lot and maybe they have to go and fight in combat and maybe they don’t come back,” he said.
He said, because of their parents’ service, their childhood may look different.
“Some veterans can’t go out in crowds, can’t do certain things, it’s heartbreaking to a child who just wants to go to the swimming pool, amusement park, a movie,” Harrell said.
The horses are brought in to help build trust.
“We use horses as a segway into conversation for healing,” he said.
A month to raise awareness, a lifetime to build support.
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