Published 11:09 am Friday, June 9, 2023

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Military-Veterans Advocacy, a Slidell, LA, based veterans advocacy organization and the USS Kidd Veterans Museum jointly announce the inaugural “Veterans Get Outside Day” to take place at the Museum from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm Saturday, June 10, 2023.  The event is based on the Canadian National “Get Outside Day” presented by the Benjamin Ware Legacy Fund and the i2 Project.

The Get Outside Day is designed to promote wilderness therapy for veterans, especially those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, anxiety and depression.  The event uses the healing powers of nature to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Commander John B. Wells, USN (retired), Chairman of Military-Veterans Advocacy noted that over 6000 veterans commit suicide every year – often due to the ravages of service-connected mental illness. “We want veterans to spend a day out in the sun, doing something enjoyable and just drink in Mother Nature while breathing fresh air,”  Wells said.   “We don’t care what activity you choose.  Ride a bike, fish, hunt, backpack or just sit in the sun reading a book,”  Wells continued.  “Just do something enjoyable.”

Parks Stephenson, Executive Director of the USS Kidd Veterans Museum, encourages veterans, their families and friends to come to the riverfront downtown to participate in the event.  “It’s going to be a beautiful day, the levee and Museum will be open and people will have a wonderful time.”

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy and Baton Rouge Congressman Garrett Graves sponsored companion resolutions to recognize the day.  “We owe it to the men and women who traveled oceans to protect us to address the veteran suicide crisis,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Vets Get Outside Day is a positive step towards ensuring veterans know they have the help they need available to them.”  Congressman Graves added:  “Veterans Get Outside Day encourages Veterans to experience the outdoors and engage in recreational activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting, and ultimately promotes a passion for the outdoors. Studies show that nature-based therapy can work.”

Rachel Ware, Executive Director of the Benjamin Ware Legacy Fund, noted: “The i2 Project Get Outside Day initiative encourages people to go outside and benefit from nature. We are happy to work with MVA to promote mental health among those who have fought to defend North America.”

Museum and ship tickets will be sold separately.  Admission to the Veterans Get Outside Day is free, please check in at the table that will be set up in the memorial plaza adjacent to the Museum.

Points of contact for MVA is CDR John B Wells, USN (Ret.), at 985-290-6940.  For USS Kidd Veterans Museum, contact Parks Stephenson at 252-342-1942.