Non-profit helps veterans overcome their PTSD by triggering it

Warrior Outdoors focuses on improving veterans' mental health by building camaraderie and helping re-associate painful memories from deployment with positive experiences back here at home.

"We push them out their comfort zone a little bit, and by pushing them out of their comfort zone, they're more willing to try new things," said Andy Wickman who helped create Warrior Outdoors. "The worst thing for someone who has post traumatic stress, they tend to hole up and not want to come out of the house," Wickman said.

Warrior Outdoors brings veterans of all ages together to help them confront their post-traumatic stress in a relaxed, fun environment. Sponsors like Bass Pro Shop and other companies make camping trips and other outings possible for the veterans across Georgia.

"It's all about the camaraderie, it's all about the friendships and learning that you're not the only one dealing with these problems," said U.S. Army veteran Gary Herber who was deployed in Afghanistan all of 2009. "We're all dealing with these problems."

"You don't have to worry about describing your story someone who doesn't know what it's like because everyone knows what its like," said U.S. Army Specialist Alex Clarke who has been deployed three times in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Part of the therapy is triggering a veteran's post traumatic stress to help them replace painful memories and triggers from combat with something positive.

The vets on this weekend trip say outings like this one have saved them from spiraling into depression.

"The coming back was the toughest part of the deployment," said Herber. "I'm sad to say I've lost more of my platoon to suicide than to the enemy."

But for these vets, bringing up the trauma is the only way to march past it.

"There's hope, there's help," said Herber. "Raise your hand, there's guys looking for your right now, all you gotta do is send up a flare."

Warrior Outdoors is always looking to help more vets, so if you know someone who could use their help, contact them HERE.

If you;re a business owner who would like to help sponsor Warrior Outdoors and help veterans, click HERE.