Equine therapy center for veterans coming to Cumberland County

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Horses that heal - equine therapy for veterans
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An innovative retreat in Cumberland County offers equine therapy to veterans, in an operation run by a military vet himself.

LINDEN, North Carolina (WTVD) -- A retreat center that specializes in military care is coming soon to Cumberland County. The Lone Survivor Retreat Facility broke ground earlier this month and will feature equine therapy for service members and their families.

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The Texas-based foundation selected Cumberland County for its proximity to Fort Bragg and the community support. The facility is teaming up with "Horses that Heal" to offer equine therapy to challenged service members.

The organization was founded by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell but is run by retired Navy Officer Terry Jung.

"I come from a line of military. My dad served in World War II and was a POW. I lost a stepson in Afghanistan," Jung said.

Jung has been there. Years later, he's taking on a new mission at the Lone Survivor Foundation to help others through similar traumatic experiences.

"They have lost hope. They come in and say I don't see how you can help me. I'm just beyond help," Jung said.

How can horses help?

"Horses are pretty smart. They can detect when you're afraid. And they will react," Jung explained. "So a lot of it is the interaction with the horse and allowing the soldier to see without dealing with people their own weaknesses and strengths.

But it's not just for service members.

"Our retreats are for the entire family. Because you can't heal a soldier without touching their family first," Jung said.

The therapy also helps the horses who were rescued from neglect and abuse by "Horses that Heal."

"They're healing and helping others as well," Jung said.

So at Lone Survivor, everyone is a survivor.

"We have an expression that says never quit on those who quit on us." Jung said.

The Cumberland County site is expected to open by 2019.