Veteran Barn Door Project
When I returned in 2010 from Afghanistan, I had trouble adjusting. My details are not important and not unique, but after a very bad winter, I turned to my horses. The mere process of grooming my horses made me feel better. The more I rode and the more I got involved with them, the better I felt. I do not pretend to be a psychologist, and I certainly do not charge the same. All that I know is that taking care of my horses and connecting with them saved me, as well as some friends of mine.
A few friends who had some of the same history that I had came from out of state. Some were much worse than I ever was. I got them involved in “the barn” for a few days and I soon began to notice a change in them right away. The morning beer was forgotten just so they could just go to the barn and be with the horses. I saw instant progress. I have 3 horses now, which I board with friends. They are the reason that I am alive today. I want to begin a Therapeutic Riding Center where my brothers and sisters in arms can come and heal the hidden wounds of war. I know my experience of 40 years with horses and my own PTSD recovery will make this a success. I want to help those that drugs, counseling, nor the government can help. I have been there, so I know.
I am asking for help with startup costs to make this the most successful ranch around. I have developed a business plan and have started to get the ball rolling. However, without financial help, I have only my horses and a will to help others. There is so much involved. I have not given up and I am determined to get this riding center going. I am a hard worker, a devoted horse owner and an experienced rider. I have spoken with many trainers who are willing to volunteer their time to get this under way. I plan to hire veterans in need of jobs to help on the farm, veteran owned businesses to purchase supplies and I have actually found a veteran who is now a big animal vet who will volunteer his services.
Please help me make my dream, and so many others who have served this great country, come true. We all want the same thing, and there are people of us that go out and try to make that a reality. However, in doing so, we get damaged and need repair. Please do what you can to help. You will be helping people who are fathers, mothers, shop owners, little league coaches, etc. These are the people who have risked their lives for you. Please help me to rescue them, as I have been rescued.
Steven N. DePalma
PS thats me in the photograph
I am trying to so hard to reach out and provide something for Veterans and their families to put their energy into. We are not just riding at the VBDP. I am hear to listen and lend a hand when you need me the most.
If we can reach our goal, I can come to those who need me and my horses. I will bring my horses to them and spend a day or two so they can understand trust and balance through the use of horses. But, I need help.
June 6 thru 8 we are conducting a clinic with the help of a great horseman. We also have a group of wonderful volunteers that have been trying their hardest to raise money for us. The Jr Ladies Auxiliary from the Hardwick American Legion Post has been wonderful and very helpful. We love you guys. Keep up the good work.
Please donate what you can. Visit our website at veteranbarndoor.com and like our page on facebook.
I'm trying to figure out how to make contact with Mr. DePalma. It's been a dream of mine to help the Veterans through horsemanship and I was hoping he might be able to give me some advice and answer some questions for me?