Georgia farming program helps veterans heal from PTSD and TBI
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - An Army veteran is doing his part to make life easier for soldiers transitioning to civilian life by using farming and agriculture.
Jon Jackson is the founder of STAG VETS, a nonprofit organization that helps provide treatment and care for veterans suffering with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
Jackson is using newly acquire farmland called Comfort Farms located in Milledgeville as a way of healing for homeless veterans to get their minds off war.
Veterans from all over can come to the farm to help plant fresh products and raise farm animals, and learn culinary techniques. They are using American Mule foot hogs for their pork program.
"A lot of the veterans that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan find themselves displaced. A lot of those things are not working out for them. Farming and agriculture is pretty much like the military. You have to wake up early to feed the animals, things have to be done, you have to be constantly plan and be strategic," Jackson said.
The 20 acres farm was donated to STAG Vets by Maranatha, a nonprofit to help homeless people who have alcohol and drug addictions.
Veterans also get to build greenhouses and chicken coops. The farm will eventually be able to house veterans that want to live on the farm. Jackson named Comfort Farms after his Army Ranger friend, Kyle Comfort, whom he served with in Afghanistan.
Comfort was killed in action May 8, 2010 in Afghanistan.
To expand STAG VETS and Comfort Farm, Jackson he's hoping to acquire more farm land throughout the state of Georgia in the future. Stag Vets was once based on Columbus. STAG is an acronym for Strength to Achieve Greatness.
To date, the organization has helped over 500 veterans and their families.
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