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Local veterans raise awareness for PTSD and suicide
The Flatlanders veteran team is hosting a ruck-march Carry the Fallen event at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Cheyenne Bottoms.

According to Active Heroes the Military Family Retreat Center is the first retreat in America designed by military families to help military families heal.
The retreat center is located in Shepherdsville, Ky. and open to military families free of charge.
Activities currently include camping, cookouts, archery, hiking and a children’s playground.
Veterans and military families can relax at the pergolas or escape to the “healing areas” for solitude.

Healing Through Integration
Integration is the first step towards healing. Many veterans and military families dealing with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) struggle with going out into the public.
The Active Heroes Retreat and Nature Park is designed to give these families a safe place where they can intermingle with the public and have “Healing Areas” to find solitude.

Healing Through Nature
The Active Heroes Retreat and Nature Park is located on 144 beautiful acres seated in between rolling hills and valleys with four dedicated flat activity areas.
The retreat embodies healing by giving military families a place where they can leave their personal problems behind and step into the warm embrace of nature, whether it be a green, mossy grove, the military family garden or the rocky hills.
Visitors can expect to see deer, turtles, hawks, black racer snakes, fish and in the future a petting zoo with mini horses and goats.
The retreat has four main creeks that bend through the rolling hills and valleys.
The creeks are named Leadership, Valor, Integrity and Loyalty, and inspirational signs are featured along the trails.
The forest hides away three springs that also have tiny waterfalls.
The sound of water can often be heard as you walk around the 144 acres, making the area an ideal place for rest and relaxation.

Healing Through Outdoor Activities
Many adults enjoy the serenity of spending time relaxing with outdoor activities as a way to escape the stress and craziness of everyday life.
Not only can fresh air and natural scenery have a positive impact on adults, outdoor activities for children can also improve the overall quality of kids’ lives.
The Active Heroes Retreat and Nature Park will have several outdoor activities that will comfort every member of the military family.
Kids will enjoy the lake for swimming, canoeing and paddle boats but there are also five separate streams or ponds for fishing.
Other outdoor activities include the honor hiking trail that follows the outer edge of the retreat, archery, biking, rope and rock climbing walls and a kids playground.

Healing Through Fitness and Sports Activities
Active Heroes is a charity that is all about getting active. In the future, the retreat will introduce sports and fitness activities as an additional way to relieve stress, have fun and to build upon physical fitness.
The future sports activities will include Louisville Slugger batting cages, a basketball court, tug of war sand pit, horse shoes, bocci ball, football, ultimate frisbee and soccer field, sports toss and a slack line for balancing.

Healing Through Family Building Challenges
The Active Heroes Retreat and Nature park is designed with the military family in mind.
As phases of the retreat are built, we will introduce additional challenges to inspire the families to work together to complete.
These challenges include geocaching, a rope climbing course and a hide and seek mystery.

Post traumatic stress disorder causes a lot of turmoil for veterans and active duty soldiers, This disorder is hard to understand from outside eyes. But for one local veteran and his team, they hope to change that by raising awareness about this disorder and reduce veteran suicide and while doing so they hope to raise money for a military family retreat.
Blake Wornkey and his team the Flatlanders are hosting a ruck-march event called “Carry the Fallen” at the Cheyenne Bottoms at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
“As a veteran these marches were part of our training. Now these marches and having the weight of these packs on our back is to signify the weight that our veterans are carrying as they battle PTSD.” Wornkey said.
This march is not only to help raise awareness about PTSD and veteran suicide but to help get the word out that veterans in the area need an outreach that they can turn to and get the help that they need.
“I know we live in a small community, but veterans here in Great Bend need something that they can turn to and get help,” Wornkey said. “So we hope that we can raise awareness here in Great Bend and help these veterans.”
This march through Cheyenne Bottoms is a self-paced walk and anyone is welcome to join in on the march. Participates in the event are not required to carry a pack, they are ask to come out show their support and enjoy nature.

Carry the Fallen
According to their website. Carry The Fallen is a Ruck-March (Hiking) event.
Teams ruck-march for three, six, 12 or 22 hours while carrying weight that symbolizes the burden that many veterans carry post-war or post-trauma.
The ultimate purpose of Carry The Fallen is to reduce veteran suicide and assist Military Families by:
1. Establishing camaraderie to cope with Post Traumatic Stress (anger, depression, loneliness, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies). Uniting veterans, families and supporters to care for each other in times of need.
2. Training Team Leaders how to interact with suicidal veterans and the steps to assist them.
3. Developing a peer mentor and ambassador community of veterans, military families and civilians who support struggling families and/or veterans.
4. Supporting Active Heroes programs including the retreat, community center, home repairs, and active challenges from donations raised by the Carry The Fallen events that will help reduce veteran suicide with outdoor activity programs and educational programs.
For more information about the ruck-march call Blake Wornkey at 620-282-0548.