5 Benefits of Recreational Therapy for Purple Heart Veterans

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June 5, 2023

U.S. military heroes injured in the line of duty represent some of the bravest among us. Yet soldiers who leave the adrenaline and intensity of the battlefield often navigate challenges of a different kind when they return home. This requires new kinds of bravery and courage while integrating back into everyday civilian life That new chapter of life can be a perfect opportunity for Purple Heart heroes to pursue recreational therapy.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some key benefits of this approach to healing. Whether you are a Purple Heart veteran or someone looking to support veterans’ continued well-being, recreational therapy can be an exciting and therapeutic path to consider.
Benefit #1: Serious playtime
The most obvious benefit of recreational therapy is its direct connection with fun and play. This type of therapy can include a range of activities including car racing, fishing, hunting, skiing, and surfing. When we engage in physical activity, we’re forced to focus on the task(s) immediately at hand—steering in a specific direction, casting a lure, aiming a bow, and so on. Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good and builds muscle mass, among other positive attributes.
Benefit #2: Lifelong friendships
Although it’s possible to work out alone, activities done in nature encourage us to pair up and find people who share a common cause. Organizations such as Warrior Bonfire Program bring Purple Heart heroes together for recreation that cultivates community and fosters lifelong friendships. Our military members have endured many challenges and found release and hope in the company of peers.
Benefit #3: New experiences
Recreation exposes us to new sights, sounds, and smells. (Bonfires also give us an opportunity to eat—and that means new tastes, too!) It’s hard to replicate the once-in-a-lifetime recreational opportunities that bring Purple Heart veterans into new forests, glades, and streams. Witnessing life through all of our senses gives us a deeper appreciation for the great, wide world we live in. It also reminds veterans that they’re part of a big, important story—and that their lives make a positive difference in our world.
Benefit #4: Collaborative partnership
Getting to know new people takes time and energy under the best of circumstances. But there’s a shortcut: Getting to know new people while having fun playing together in nature. Whether Purple Heart veterans are rowing a boat, hiking a trail, or sitting around a campfire, recreational therapy brings people together as they work toward a common goal of healing.
Benefit #5: Future focus
The forward motion of recreational therapy reminds veterans that the future is a bright and welcoming place. There are always new opportunities on the horizon. A friendly community awaits and invites them to participate at any opportunity.
Looking for a way to help more Purple Heart veterans enjoy the benefits of recreational therapy? Donate to the Warrior Bonfire Program, where play and camaraderie make a serious difference for our heroes.