In 2012 a dear childhood friend from central Kansas committed suicide after 11 years as an Army medic; he quietly suffered from PTSD as a result of his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. His loss shed light on the high tolls of military service for our selfless men and women and offered a question: how can we better serve our military when they return home? In 2016 we began working towards a solution with the creation of Warrior’s Ranch, Inc., a place where Veterans could interact with each other and certified therapists in a judgement-free environment that offered peacefulness and also the opportunity to stretch and challenge oneself. Almost immediately a need was recognized to help teens in the region who have attempted, or seriously contemplated, suicide and they were added to select programs. Veterans and teens participate in programs separately although in the future they may interact in a mentorship program.
Guiding Warrior’s Ranch is our Board of Directors, made up of seven individuals and the Executive Director. These leaders come from a variety of backgrounds: agriculture, military, counseling, healthcare, education and business. Every person on the Board has a strong passion for helping veterans and others who struggle with PTSD and mental illness. They are also well-connected in their respective communities, allowing them to advocate for our work and assist when resources or volunteers are needed. As a Board they provide guidance, oversight and accountability to the Executive Director in her work towards achieving the organization’s strategic goals and mission.
The Executive Director has served with Warrior’s Ranch since its inception in a part-time capacity. Beginning June 1, 2017, she came on full-time with the organization, resigning from her job as Executive Director for the Kansas FFA Foundation. Her background in organizational development, agriculture and education have equipped her to lead our organization into a sustainable future.
In addition to our staff we have partnerships with Kansas State University (KSU), KSU Research and Extension, Ft. Riley, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and local VFW and American Legion groups. Above all, we are blessed with wonderful volunteers who make our work possible!
Our programs are diverse and designed to be individualized for each person. Adventure, horticultural and equine therapy are currently offered with new programs set to launch in 2020 and 2021.