CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) It's calming waters like these on Lake Arrowhead in Waleska, Cherokee County the American Sailing Association (ASA) hopes can help heal veterans.
Navy veteran Scott Wade said his service was both good and bad.
“I met the Queen of England, three presidents, Pope John Paul, traveled around the world,” Wade said. “But I’ve also been to a lot of bad areas and seen combat.”
Wade is coping with his PTSD and other issues, but he knows some veterans aren't getting the help they need.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs information, at least 22 Armed Forces veterans commit suicide every day in America.
“It’s tragic, these guys are taking their own lives because they are not getting the right care for their PTSD,” Wade said.
Operation Vet Sail could be one way to help. ASA schools are offering active and retired military members discounts on sailing lessons and certification.
“Since I’m a veteran I understand the stress reduction, the blood pressure reduction, the therapy that goes out by being on a sail boat,” Vietnam Army veteran Captain Rob James said.
James owns Kingdom Yacht Sailing Club and is an ASA instructor. He's giving Wade his first sailing lesson.
On the water is where we see a veteran, dealing with so much, let his worries float away with the breeze at least for a moment.
“You get kind of a little happy feeling,” Wade said. “It’s something that feels calming. Just the wind and the quite where it’s just you and the water.”
Captain James said this is therapy.
“You can’t control the wind,” James said. “We are control freaks because of what’s happened to us. So once you realize you have to work with it and not against it. There’s the therapy. There’s a healing that starts.”
“It’s definitely something that is going to help people,” Wade said.
Operation Vet Sail: A Salute at Sea and the discounts for military families runs through Veterans Day which is November 11th.
For a complete list of participating schools, visit www.asa.com/veterans/schools/.