Garrett Eaton, a retired Marine, suffers from PTSD like so many other veterans. He is the subject of a short-film called “Return from Desolation.”
The film is mainly about his recovery through whitewater rafting, and his efforts to help other veterans through the sport. The main idea I believe is the act of just being outside in nature and the calm it brings.
Healing PTSD is not an easy task and there are many hurdles to overcome.
Isolation is a big one and I’m very guilty of it myself. Just being outside in nature, not the city-scape, can have a profound effect on people. And though I tend to isolate myself, it is out in the country surrounded by trees and wildlife. I have no doubt that my natural landscape around me helps, A LOT.
I strongly encourage anyone struggling with PTSD to take the time to even go for a walk on a nearby trail. If anything, the fresh air will feel good, and you never know how much better you’ll feel afterwards.
By 2002, with the U.S. at war in Afghanistan, he served a tour of duty there in a forward air control squadron.
And like so many veterans of our era, he came back a changed man – broken, even.
“I came back with PTSD that I tried to fix with alcohol and drugs,” Eaton tells us. “Some opioids, but I found out the anti-psychotic meds were really the bad thing. But mostly I was an alcoholic.”