Somehow, the atmosphere in the room seemed to be electric as a group of soldiers, who had served in the Middle East, gathered with their supporters at the home of Monty and Pat Roberts.

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The wounded warriors, both male and female, had been suffering terribly from post-traumatic stress syndrome. They had heard about the relief that was experienced by other soldiers that had attended a three-day work shop with Monty and his horses. So, they fought doubt, fear and depression to try to take a step forward toward recovery.

We were able to visit with a returning vet named Peter who told us: “All I know is that when I finish a workout with a horse and things go well, I feel really good inside. I see that the horse really wants to obey my commands. It’s when I turn my back on a horse and he follows me – that is a moment of love and trust. Then, I too, feel love and trust, and people with PTST have a big problem with love and trust. They have a big wall up. Too much hurt and too much misunderstanding about what happened to you. Somehow, you don’t know how to be around other people and feel comfortable anymore.

“My experience here with Monty and his horses has been, well, magical” he said. “It is unexplainable – like a mystery. Even the first day, when I has very nervous and had some anxiety, a door opened in my mind. I didn’t know what was happening because I had never communicated with a horse like that before with my mind and my heart. It definitely brought up a lot of stuff. And made me question reality, but in a good way. I wonder what we are capable of and how much potential is really out there. If you go through life with blinders on, you really miss a lot. Because something can come along that is so amazing, that it just blows your mind!”

A couple of hours earlier, a large group of both Veterans and their supporters were sitting around a huge Christmas tree in Pat and Monty Roberts living room. Monty graciously thanked various people who had added to their efforts. First was our beloved Valley actress, Cheryl Ladd, who had just returned from Canada making a film for next Christmas, called Santa Pups.

“She is our own guardian angel,” said Monty, “and she and her husband, Brian Russell, have been extremely active in the affairs of our returning troops. They went to Bahrain to entertain our troops at Christmas time a couple of years ago.” Cheryl then went on to describe how much it meant to them to share Christmas dinner with the men and women who were defending our country, saying, “We were filled with pride and the experience absolutely changed our lives.”

Also aiding Monty’s efforts have been Lammy and Jim Kockler, who were instrumental in getting the Wood Claeyssens Foundation on board to help the Veterans. Jim has been active in the Ride to Recovery for wounded Veterans and worked diligently on obtaining vehicles that the wounded vets were able to physically manage.

Then Monty introduced former returning vets Alicia and Alexandra, who had been through Monty’s program a few months ago and had returned to help others. They are both not only beautiful but brave and generous, and completely able to understand the unique problems that plague some returning soldiers. Alexandra’s father had told Monty that they were so grateful to God to have her return alive. But then they discovered that the daughter that they got back was not the same young woman that had left them, because she was so emotionally scarred from her war experiences. Monty’s horse program has given her confidence and courage, and she is now ready to help others get on the road to recovery.

Another of the male soldiers spoke up and said it was his dream that every suffering vet could come and experience this unique work with Monty and the horses. Pat and Monty Roberts asked that we spread the word that this help is now available to returning Veterans.