Veterans and first responders getting help at Corydon retreat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Veterans and first responders getting help at Corydon retreat

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Dozens of soldiers, veterans and first responders are getting help to get back on their feet again. 

Some are struggling from PTSD and are making progress at a southern Indiana retreat.

For many, it includes a peaceful weekend of fishing and sitting around a fire pit talking with new and old friends.

"It helps me kinda get away from the hectic world back home," said Matthew Chandler, a Fort Knox veteran.

However, for dozens of people, it's not only for fun.

"It's hard because people don't really understand how it works and how it goes on," Chandler said.

They say it's sometimes needed, especially for those who may be suffering from PTSD, like Chandler.

"My husband's a disabled veteran. He became disabled in 2009. He became injured in Afghanistan," said Chandler's wife, Renee Chandler.

This is why Chandler, and others, have turned to the non-profit organization in Corydon called Hero Reward.

An effort last year helped to build a new retreat on this site, where soldiers, veterans and first responders can spend some time.

Sometimes it's just about being in nature, with no doctor appointments or stress.

"No shop talk really," said Specialist Corey Sylvester, a Fort Campbell soldier. "It's just been all family oriented stuff and what did you do back home and just kinda left all the work stuff at work and talk about family and friends." 

Even family members and friends can participate and have noticed progress being made. 

"When we get around others that have PTSD and have gone through what he's gone through, he'll interact with them," Renee Chandler said. "He's normal."

"That's the reason you do it - to see a difference," said Hero Reward founder Rodney Bruce. "Whether it's in interactions between the kids and the people who have been gone...to see the difference it has made when the kids come here from the first day to the last day ... the reconnection that's made is just unbelievable."

For Matthew Chandler, and many others, it's the help they say is needed to get back on their feet again.

"I think there should be a lot more places like this," Chandler said. "It would honestly help a whole lot of people."

This weekend, more than two dozen soldiers, veterans and first responders were participating in this relaxing weekend at the retreat.

For more information on the retreat and how to get involved, click here.

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