Veterans Voices: A Path to Cope With Stress

Veterans Voices

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — There’s a new sanctuary for local veterans to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

What’s different about this one on this week’s Veterans Voices is that it’s in the shape of a maze. Technically it’s a labyrinth, a type of wandering path, and it’s helping everyone from veterans to first responders cope with stress.

The Luzerne County Fairgrounds is a wandering path with a purpose. It was designed and built with the help of a local Scout troop, Home Depot and a pair of veterans who wanted make a difference.

The labyrinth can be used in different ways: For prayer, for meditation or for a simple walk to air your thoughts. The idea is to make a physical act a mental release or stress release.

“We encourage people who are walking the labyrinth to carry a symbol of their burdens of their stresses with them to the center of the labyrinth. Then lay that object down to show physical release,” Iraq war veteran Eric Pimm said.

Pimm is an Iraq war vet with two tours under his belt. He truly believes a labyrinth like this one helped him recover, and now he wants to pass the therapy on to others. The concept isn’t new. Native Americans call it a “medicine wheel”, and it’s been a spiritual tool for thousands of years.

Fellow Iraq war veteran Richard Blane says the labyrinth works because it helps people realize they’re not alone in their struggles.

“For each of these people to see that they’re not the only ones who are dealing with it, struggling with it, that’s what helps us come together as a family, as a community,” Blane said.

A local veterans support group meets for coffee and campfire the last Saturday of each month at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds in Lehman Township.

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