Here’s how you can help female combat veterans heal

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Army National Guard veteran Brenda Falk is looking to raise money for a life-changing river-trip for her fellow female combat veterans. 

Falk served in the Army National Guard from 1992 until 2015. When she returned home, she was able to attend a veterans river trip on the Namekagon River, and it changed her life for the better. 

Falk says that the tranquility and peace of her river camping and fishing trip is what brought her back to ground level after serving her country, allowing for an easier transition back into civilian life. Now, she wants to bring that trip to other female veterans. 

Falk is looking to raise $8,000 for the all-female trip, even insisting that the trip be organized by a team of solely women. Operated by River of Recovery, this year’s trip will be the fifth annual and will host as many as six women. 

“Sometimes it is just kind of nice to have a female-specific event,” Falk says. “Some women have PTSD because of incidents around males in service. So going to an event like fishing or where we’re staying in a cabin, they might not feel safe. So to be able to make this a much safer environment where they don’t have to be worried about anything like that is something I think is necessary.”

“Funds raised will enable our female combat veterans to experience the healing power of a Rivers of Recovery trip, and any donation will help make an impact,” Falk writes. “I was lucky enough to be a part of the first trip in 2016, and now I want to share the experience with more women combat veterans.”

“Our program, which combines outdoor recreational activities with instruction on the self-treatment of symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety, empowers veterans to live a life that is no longer restricted by psychological or physical disabilities,” according to Rivers of Recovery.

The program is a spinoff from the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway’s “Vets on the River” program.

“Women go home and they’re invisible,” Butler told Rivers of Recovery. “They slip back into society, back into families, back into school.”

With this trip, Falk hopes to give our female veterans time to recover, reflect, and heal before assimilating back into society. 

To donate, visit their GoFundMe here.

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