Community gardening programs helped Army veteran Mark Oravsky come to grips with his combat experiences after he left the military in 2011. Now he’s spreading the word to other Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at a forum in Olympia’s Capitol Theater.
He belongs to one of several veterans groups that are sponsoring a showing of Ground Operations, a documentary film that follows Iraq War veterans who launch careers as farmers after leaving the military.
One of the main characters, Adam Burke of Jacksonville, Florida, received a 2012 Citizens Medal from President Barack Obama for his efforts to help fellow veterans cope with the invisible wounds of war.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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Afterward, representatives from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs and several veterans organizations plan to describe programs for military service members in the South Sound.
One offers therapeutic horseback riding; others focus on community agriculture or launching independent businesses. Oravsky said they share a theme of promoting “holistic healing” for combat veterans.
He was featured in a story in The Olympian in January. On this week’s panel, nonprofit leaders will describe programs, and veterans who have used them will tell their stories.