Sarah Williams and her husband Justin Williams are US Army Veterans who deployed twice to Iraq with their unit 70th Engineers from 2003-2004 (First Armored Division) and 2005-2006 (3rd Infantry Division). The both suffer from PTSD due to their combat experience. Sarah became frustrated watching her family and battle buddies suffer with PTSD, unable to find the help they desperately needed. The VA and civilian mental health resources had not worked well enough for them, so they began seeking other non-traditional options.
Sarah had always loved horses. After Sarah and Justin moved to Southern Maryland, Sarah sought out the company of horses, finding it in volunteer work at a local horse rescue. She noticed that being around and working with horses helped her cope with PTSD. She had no idea therapy involving horses already existed. She began pitching her own idea of starting natural horsemanship sessions to heal veterans to anyone who would listen. A friend then introduced her to Diane McKissick LCSW-C and Julie Devine LCPC.
Diane and Julie are both Equine Assisted Psychotherapists with many years of experience and knowledge using horses for therapeutic purposes. After hearing Sarah’s ideas, Diane and Julie they quickly jumped on board. With the help of Diane and Julie, Sarah’s idea evolved into something much bigger. The three women came up with an approach called Reboot, Retrain, Renew, and Sustain. The goal of this approach is to help Warriors to Reboot by introducing them to the program, Retrain by doing weekly EAP session, Renew by doing weekly EAP sessions with the whole family, andSustain by creating a community for Warriors. OWR’s goal is to create a comprehensive facility that will provide a holistic approach to healing. Centered around the horses in their peaceful community. The center will include a wide range of resources for warriors including: