FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 13, 2013) -- For months, Soldiers and members of the community have worked on the construction of the Warrior Outreach Ranch in Fortson, Ga. The open house for the ranch is from 6-9 p.m. April 5, a day before the sixth annual Warrior Outreach Horsemanship event on Fort Benning's Wetherby Field.

Several Soldiers from the 11th Engineer Battalion volunteered their time and skills Saturday.

Spc. James Rash of Camden, Ark., who just returned from Afghanistan March 4, came out to help with the work because of his love of horses.

Riding horses helps to keep your mind off the day-to-day routine, he said.

"It's majestic because I love getting on top of a horse and letting them run free," Rash said.

The ranch will be a good place for Soldiers and their Families, said retired Sgt. 1st Class Ben Bennett from Greenville, Ky. He and his wife traveled from Kentucky to help on the ranch.

"That what's its for, to help Soldiers help Soldiers," he said about the ranch.

It allows Soldiers to talk about their issues and also take their minds off of them, Bennett added.

The completed project will include a trail, areas for Families to congregate and relax in, as well as a place for Soldiers and their Families learned to ride and take care of horses.

"There are a lot of people who I bump into on a daily basis that want to talk," said retired Sgt. Maj. Sam Rhodes, founder of Warrior Outreach Horsemanship and program manager for Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, "so this is going to provide an atmosphere outside of their home and even my home, where we can relax and talk."

Sgt. Cory Curley of Dover Del., said volunteering helps put his skills to good use during down time at Fort Benning.

The Warrior Outreach Ranch, Curley said, provides "a good sense of relief especially when you are away from your Family, friends."

Curley suggested volunteering so others could reap the benefits from their skills.

Sgt. 1st Class James Scott has been volunteering with Warrior Outreach for the past two months and said he volunteers most of his weekends to lend a hand. He is also active with other volunteer organizations such as House of Heroes.

"I encourage people to participate in programs like this. It doesn't require anything of you other than your time," he said. "You get to make a positive impact on the community."

A lot of the volunteer service he does, he said, goes back to veterans.

"What a lot of people in the local community need right now, is your time," Scott said.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit wwww.warrioroutreach.org.

Page last updated Fri March 29th, 2013 at 09:58