A farm for battle-weary veterans?

From CNNMoney — “Former Army Sergeant Adam Burke’s struggle to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder took him out of the monotony of a rehab office and into the fresh air of a farm.

In 2009, the Purple Heart recipient launched Veterans Farm in Florida, an unconventional setting where veterans can heal from physical and mental injuries through ‘horticulture therapy.’

Working on the farm isn’t unlike what soldiers experience on deployment, he said.

“Vets need structure in life. It’s inbred in them,” said Burke, 34. At the farm, vets get up at 7 a.m. Each vet has a specific task assigned to them on a task board that has to be completed that day.

Tasks include planting fruits and vegetables, taking care of chickens and other farm animals, and even building a greenhouse.

Organic blueberries are grown in abundance and are a specialty of Burke’s farm in Jacksonville, Fla. Blueberry bushes are planted on elevated beds to make them accessible to wheelchair-bound vets during harvest time.”

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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