Heroes in Our Midst: Supporting Veterans Returning From War

As seen in Papercity December 2015:

With grateful hearts we support the courage, sacrifice and dedication given so willingly by our military families.

Fighting the War Within

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Having lived in a kill-or-be-killed environment, transitioning veterans to a civilian context can prove equally distressing. Commonly diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), hyper-vigilance and fear do not always subside upon returning home.

Dr. John Hart Jr., neurologist and Medical Science Director at the Center for BrainHealth, began exploring this “war within” five years ago. His trauma research has tested whether a natural and highly structured therapy guiding patients through memories that actively tilt against avoidant coping mechanisms can be enhanced with neurostimulation. For U.S. Marine Mike Rials, “walking through the tall grass,” reprocessing memories, and re-wiring triggers have enhanced his life tremendously.

Extensive evaluations and MRI images illustrate positive brain changes among veterans returning 10 days ago and 10 years ago. PTSD is not a life sentence, and these findings may bring peace and presence to veterans everywhere.


Treating PTSD with Horses
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On Valentine’s Day 2003, Sara Poquette received her first deployment to northern Iraq, returning in 2005 to a face a brutal transition for veterans: life as a civilian. Suffering from PTSD, Sara sought help early and often, but nothing quelled her panic attacks and hyper vigilance.

After years struggling with suicide and excessive drinking, she had little hope that Equest would prove therapeutic. “I just wanted to ride horses,” she admits. Then she met a horse named Al. “He was tall like I am and had back issues like I do,” she said, and his gentleness softened what the military had hardened. Their connection was immediate and emotional, and relearning that vulnerability taught Sara how to trust again in a way clinical therapy had not.

Equest is open to veterans like Sara at no cost, but pay it forward she has. Most notably, Sara lobbied for veteran suicide prevention legislation and watched President Obama sign it into law. Coping with PTSD will be a lifelong battle, but Al and Equest renewed Sara’s purpose and opened her heart to hope and healing. 


President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake.  

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