Warriors and Wings: how exotic birds are helping veterans

warriors and wings program

BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – A unique type of therapy is helping local veterans dealing with post traumatic stress. It uses exotic birds.

Daniel Henn is an Iraqi Freedom veteran. He served our country in the Marines, but he didn’t come back the same. Daniel suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I have depression, anxiety. I mean I stay in my house a lot,” said Henn.

Once he was introduced to Sugarcreek Bird Farm, things started to change for him..for the better.

“There’s just something that connects me to them,” said Henn.

He met Kelly and felt an instant connection. You see, these two have a lot in common.  They both are anxious and have a heightened sense of alertness. They also both could use a friend.

“They make me happy, they make me smile, they increase my attitude. It’s a loving relationship,” said Henn

Sugarcreek Bird Farm Assistant Manager Lynn Huelsman thinks the birds here can help veterans in the Miami Valley.
She’s seen it work first hand.

“His whole personality had changed. He’s leaving the house, he’s walking outside, he’s waking up in the morning early so he can care for the bird,” said Huelsman.

That’s where the Warriors and Wings program comes in. It will give vets an opportunity to get together and bond with like minded animals once a month.

“They are so empathetic to our feelings that it really is adding a different kind of dynamic with the veterans and their PTSD,” said Huelsman.
“It was life changing to me. Without my birds I don’t know where I would be,” said Henn

The Warriors and Wings program will be held at Sugarcreek Bird Farm on the first Sunday of every month from 1-3pm. For more information contact them at 937-848-4819.

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