(Update: Adding video, comments from the veteran outreach coordinator)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Save the Brave is putting on a five-day outdoor adventure for Veterans in Central Oregon. It's a program meant to facilitate healing from post-traumatic brain injury and physical pain by connecting veterans to outdoor therapeutic activities and non-traditional medical approaches.
The event planned for next month in Central Oregon that will include "rafting, mountain biking, hiking, bungee and so much more," its organizer said.
Veteran outreach coordinator Javier Romo said, "Your diet, getting involved in nature -- physical activity -- is the best way to do it. Along with alternative medical approaches like chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga is huge. So, I designed this event right along with the experiences that I had that increased my growth and my healing. "
Romo, who served in the Marines in Iraq in 2003, said he's been putting on the program on his own for four years and that this is the first year with a corporate sponsor -- an official event through Save the Brave.
Several businesses have stepped in to help with fundraising, to make the event free for those who take part. Participants accepted to the program will be responsible for traveling expenses to and from the locations. For those that require financial assistance, participants would need to raise a minimum of $500, and Save the Brave will step in to cover the remaining balance for the flight.
The week-long itinerary includes a visit to Tumalo Falls, rafting the lower Deschutes River and paddling the river at Bend's Old Mill.
"I'm a veteran also, and I've been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury," Romo said. "Like lots of veterans, I have my struggles with both. I went through a lot of the treatment programs through the Department of Veteran Affairs, including pharmacological treatments. What I found is that there is no pill that treats PTS and TBI like community."
Romo said he is hoping for about 30 participants for the week-long event, and there are up to 50 spaces available for the rafting trip.
Here is the flyer for more information on the event.