Eric Donoho, a Carmel resident and veteran, has created a program called Reach Out and Care Warriors to promote humanitarian work and help veterans face their fears. The program was created with Wayne Hanson, chairman of ROC Wheels.
“It’s designed to pull disabled veterans out of their comfort zones and face their fears while highlighting the strengths they have inside,” Donoho said.
Six disabled veterans will be chosen to participate. The six-month curriculum will include information on valuable life skills and building and delivering wheelchairs to disabled children in developing countries.
“Most veterans’ first experience overseas is war, which can negatively shape their view of the world,” Donoho said. “By taking them overseas again we are asking them to overcome fears, be open to new cultures and hopefully find faith and love for this world.”
Veterans also will be provided a mental health assessment if needed to provide relief from anxiety about traveling overseas.
As a part of the project, participants will identify other areas where they can help the community they are serving to improve quality of life.
“The hope is that they’ll use it to continue to do service projects in their own communities, giving them the credibility of learning how to be a humanitarian internationally,” Donoho said.
The first trip is tentatively scheduled for October 2019. The team will deliver 50 wheelchairs and provide additional areas of support to the Center for Disabled Children Assistance in Kathmandu, Nepal. Veterans will be provided any necessary training prior to the trip.
“The program will end with a trek into the Himalayas that includes monasteries and some spiritual aspects to tie in faith to the service,” Donoho said.
For more, visit rocwarriors.org.