Impact of D-Day

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Soldiers leaving a boat and in the water of Omaha Beach, Normandy, during World War II.
Assault landing, one of the first waves at Omaha Beach, Normandy. The Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Photo courtesy of Center of Military History.

D-Day affected the world on a large scale. It affected individuals on a personal scale.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious attack in history, we honor the thousands of Allied servicemembers who lost their lives in France in an effort to save the world from tyranny.

D-Day, so called because it was Day 1 of the invasion, was a brutal and important day toward Allied victory in World War II.

It also had a lasting effect in a different way.

A 90-year-old French woman who lives feet from a Normandy beach, for example, reported she hasn’t stepped foot on the beach since she was a teenager, when she saw bodies of Allied servicemembers strewn along the sand.

Untreated trauma can haunt for a lifetime. It’s never too late to get help.

We can help.

We’ve been busy

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Spring has been busy for The PEACH Pit: We hosted three events from April 12 through May 3.


A woman in jeans walks a black horse around an arena.
Participants select a partner and share a stroll around the arena.

First up was our Renew and Reconnect Retreat for women. Cathy Woods Yoga facilitated the retreat, which included physical and emotional parallels between yoga and horsemanship.

Next, we partnered with Minds-n-Motion to host the Fundamentals of Psychodynamic Equine Assisted Trauma Therapy training,

A black horse has its nose near a woman's nose. The woman has white hair.
A horse and a human connect

which became an international affair. The primary trainer, Ilka Parent, is from Germany, and her team came from Germany and Connecticut. We also had participants from Norway,  Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia.

The training helped participants understand how trauma affects the brain and how horses can help clients process trauma.

Our Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women Veterans was our best yet. For the third consecutive retreat, our facilitators returned: Demetria Cannady led the vision board session. Lisa Cummings, Air Force Veteran, led yoga. Laurie Reisman led meditation, mindfulness and Qi Gong. Donna Watkins and Paige Jobe facilitated the equine-assisted learning session. Donna also facilitated Accelerated Resolution Therapy sessions, and Lisa conducted Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions.

Along with offering various nontraditional therapy models, we added Pounding, an aerobic activity that incorporates rhythmic drumstick pounding. Check out the video below with Leia Williams Hunley facilitating. 

Macon’s WMAZ covered that event.

Next up: the Peach-Quest Social Skills Summer Camp in July.



(POSTPONED) Workshop: Horses as Co-Therapists for the Military

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Horse walking near traffic cones, pool noodles and poles.

Equine-assisted activities incorporating the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model are gaining more and more interest all over the world.

We’re offering a four-day workshop to introduce you to the model and walk you through techniques to help military clients and others who need help dealing with post-traumatic stress issues.

Register today.

The National Guard: Always helping in disasters

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Throughout my lifetime, I’ve heard of the National Guard helping out during disasters and emergencies in this country. Flooding, fires, evacuations. Whatever the governor needed done within the state.

Now, they’re helping areas heavily affected by the recent wintry conditions: Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland and other places.

Because members of the National Guard are local folk (our neighbors), we may not think of them as susceptible for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Think of Hurricane Katrina and the horrific flooding, deaths and subsequent state of affairs in Now Orleans. The National Guard was called up.

PTSD happens after some sort of trauma. Flooding, fires, evacuations can be traumatic. Traumas affect different people in different ways.

Those service members have always been here to help us. Some of them have had to help us even when they have suffered loss. Some may hide behind toughness and may deal with their trauma in private, not seeking help.

Some reactions to to trauma are:

  • Fear or anxiety:
    • You may feel tense or afraid;
    • Be agitated and jumpy;
    • Feel on alert.
  • Sadness or depression:
    • You may have crying spells;
    • Lose interest in things you used to enjoy;
    • Want to be alone all the time;
    • Feel tired, empty, and numb.
  • Guilt and shame:
    • You may  lash out at your partner or spouse;
    • Have less patience with your children;
    • Overreact to small misunderstandings
    • Act in unhealthy ways: drink, use drugs, or smoke too much; drive aggressively; neglect your health; avoid certain people or situations;

PTSD has four types of symptoms.

  • Reliving the event (also called reexperiencing)
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

If you’re in the National Guard and experience any of symptoms or reactions, don’t suffer alone. What you’re experiencing is normal and can be treated. If you have these issues for more than three months, get help.

If you’re a friend, neighbor or just caring person, as you’re tucked in the warmth of your home, think about our home-grown heroes who are out making sure we’re safe. Know that despite their tough exterior, they may need help, too.