The Medical Society of South Carolina is proud to support Veterans On Deck, a non-profit initiative that uses sailing as therapy for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma or serious mental illness.
Through maritime internships with local boatyards and marinas, offshore sailing experiences, and integrated empirically-based treatments, the program helps veterans master skills, overcome fears, work together and build relationships that make the boat go – a concrete manifestation of success and celebration.
Each boat in the program — a 28-foot Hunter, a 28-foot O’Day and a 19-foot Bristol, all donated by supporters — gets crewed by a combination of veterans suffering from PTSD and volunteer vets. The idea is to welcome them into the social nature of sailing.
Currently, Veterans can get “on deck” three times a week from Ashley Marina in downtown Charleston:
Men’s Empowerment Sail: 2 – 4 pm
Women’s Sail: 11 am – 1 pm
All Comers Sail: 2 – 4 pm
Veteran-led All Comers Sail: 2 – 4 pm
“Once the vets realize that what they’re getting involved in isn’t counseling, says Ron Acierno, PhD, co-founder of Veterans On Deck, “but something akin to practicing dealing with social stress in a fun setting, they feel empowered, and they tend to buy into it. We give them the opportunity to confront social stress and then guide them through the process of dealing with it productively. Done right, it can be a big success for everyone.”
To become a volunteer or for more information, please visit the Veterans On Deck website.