From the Warriors

Are you a veteran or family member in need of support?  We believe that The Xena Project is the answer to numerous voids in veterans services, but as veterans ourselves, we know you may be reading this at a time when hope feels in short supply.

You can take our word, but you can also take the word of those who share their experiences in the testimonials below. The Xena Project is here for you, too.  Contact us to schedule; we look forward to welcoming you.


“I am sorry I disappeared…. and I know I say that every time. You are the only people who welcome me back, though, every time.” – Army veteran, three tours in Iraq, 2018

“I worry that my ex-husband is going to find me and I know that is silly, but it has kept me in a box for a really long time. Please pray for me. I am finding the strength, little by little. Please don’t give up on me.” – Former military spouse and domestic abuse survivor, 2018

“God told me to talk to you. Can I please have a hug? I don’t know why I’m crying but…. thank you for being here. Thank you for bringing the horse.” – Former spouse of a Marine who committed suicide in 2014, with two young children in 2018

“Groups of people are really hard for me, but this church (Simonton Community Church) is so pretty…. I like it here. It makes me feel good. I want to keep practicing until I can stay through the whole weekly group. I want to keep coming here.” – Army combat veteran, Purple Heart recipient, multiple tours in Iraq

“You’ll come get me? Wow…. you are the only ones who care. I know this is not life threatening, but it is scary to be by myself, having all these surgeries. I really need a community. I feel alone.” – Navy veteran, female, who lives alone and is undergoing multiple surgeries.

“I needed this today.  I just needed this. I thought about going to the zoo, but people stare if you cry at the zoo.” – Army veteran, multiple tours Iraq and Afghanistan, as he hugged a horse

“I don’t trust anybody. I can talk here, though, because nobody knows me here the way people usually know me, and nobody cares about all the dark stuff. Shoot, you’re all as messed up as I am! But you come together and study and talk about everything, even God, and you are figuring out how to live happy lives. That gives me hope that maybe one day I can be here, with a happy life, showing other people how to build one.” – Army combat veteran, Desert Storm, law enforcement official

“I need to go to some more things with you. I know I do, but…. I just can’t, not right now. I like when you call, though, I look forward to it. I know I don’t disappoint you when I say “no,” and I disappoint everyone…. But you keep calling, and one day I know I’m going to be there, and it’s going to help.” – U.S Marine, combat veteran, multiple tours, Vietnam

“Please…. Please help me. I don’t have anyone else to call. You’re the only ones I know. No matter what happens, will you be with me? Even if I go to jail? Please don’t abandon me. I never left a man behind, and now here I am. I know it’s my fault, it’s from the drugs, but still…. I never left a man behind, and now I am alone.” – Army combat veteran, multiple tours Iraq/Afghanistan

“No one else talks to us about spiritual stuff, and if they do, they have an agenda, it’s all about them and being able to say they helped a certain number of veterans. I don’t know if you can help me or not. I don’t know if I need help, and I don’t know what I believe. But I know I want to come see the animals again.” – U.S. Marine, combat veteran, multiple tours, Afghanistan

“We lost everything in the hurricane. We have been blessed with food, water, cleaning supplies, but we have felt so alone. You are the only ones who handed us a Bible, who even thought that we lost ours… I’m going to cry, because this is what we needed. Thank you.” – Wife of an Army combat veteran, Vietnam

“I was in a dark place, a really, really dark place. Then I spent time with the horses, and I met these guys from Vietnam who built good lives, and you taught me how to breathe, and I’m starting to feel like a man I want to be. My life isn’t over, it doesn’t have to be over.” – Former Marine, served in Afghanistan, Israel, 2017

“I haven’t really spoken to my son in years… I was deployed several times, then the drug problems, you know? But when I bring him here, we do things together, and his mom sees that there is hope, I can be a good dad, I just need help … I’m going to have a relationship with him, I know it, and it starts because of what you are doing for us.” – U.S. Army, served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2017

“I haven’t felt like I could sit somewhere, be still, be safe, since I got home from my last deployment to Iraq. I’ve never really been in nature like this. It’s changing me.” – U.S. Army veteran, infantry, multiple deployments to Iraq, 2017

“It’s all about him, and I get that, he’s the one with the gun in his mouth. But we’re the ones who are going to take care of him for the rest of his life, and it’s so overwhelming. When we’re here, we feel like we matter…. That changes everything. It gives me strength.” – Spouse, Former Marine, Vietnam veteran, 2017

“I understand why this works. You keep things simple, and you allow each individual to drive their own healing process. If I were in need, I would come here. I would return here.” – male reporter, after spending a few hours at The Xena Project, Summer 2016

“I want to come back here [The Xena Project]. I have to come back here. God smiled at me while I was here… I haven’t felt that in a long time.” – Vietnam veteran, largely home-bound due to physical disability, Spring 2016
“Blessings upon blessings for me and my family, every time we come here.” – Army veteran who served in Iraq, Winter 2015

“Going to your place was pure bliss. I strive to achieve a dream similar, and you gave me a taste of that dream. Don’t ever change.” U.S. Army veteran, of a group day at The Xena Project, winter 2014

“She’s standing up straighter. She’s looking in the mirror. She got up nearly 3 hours earlier than usual today and got straight to business, because it’s her day to visit The Xena Project. So many people told me to give up, but you see what I see. You see that she’s still there. That changes everything!” – mother of 29-year-old daughter who has struggled with severe depression for nearly 6 years, spring 2015

“Horses are so incredibly healing. Just to be around them, they’re amazing. They help you breathe.” Former U.S. Marine, of The Xena Project, Fall 2014

“I didn’t tell you this, but I have problems with panic attacks. Last night, after breath work class, was the first time I’ve slept through the night in years. Thank you!” Daughter of a Vietnam veteran, Spring 2015

“I’m so relaxed, I could take a nap… I don’t think I’m going to need meds to sleep tonight.” U.S. Army veteran, multiple combat tours in Iraq, Fall 2014



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