Enter Darby’s Warrior Support (DWS) – a place to heal. The men who first traveled to Arkansas to hunt for a weekend after their first of many deployments found peace together in the woods, watching the sunrise in silence, and simply sharing one another’s company. Conversations between seasoned warriors grew transparent. They were tired, their bodies failing, the weight of command heavy, the toll of deployments visible in the faces of spouses and children, and the memories of lost friends painful. After years of enjoying the all-natural therapy, my family and the men who first experienced nature’s healing, committed to sharing it with other members of the Special Operations community.
Since 2014, Darby’s Warrior Support has hosted 1,000+ veterans on all-inclusive outdoor adventures – hunting & fishing. The mission is laser-focused on the SOF community – men and women who have done the heavy lifting in our Nation’s longest war. One weekend at a time we host SOF operators who have shared some hard days together. Worst case, we provide them an opportunity to decompress within a grateful community before the next mission. Best case, the affirmation, and compassion they feel allow them to acknowledge the brokenness and begin the healing – confident there's happiness and fulfillment on the other side. We are immensely proud of our 0.0% suicide rate. We believe we are making a tremendous difference in the lives of a special population of veterans.
A morning watching the sunrise with close friends, the stories told around the breakfast table and the conversations around the firepit start to break down the walls. Operators begin to admit that they carry a heavy burden that spans the spectrum of issues. The testimony of their DWS hosts not only validates their struggles, but also encourages them to openly acknowledge their struggles. Getting to that admission is the start point for seeking help and DWS’s endstate. Without DWS, these men and women struggle in silence, and our Operators, the men and women who have carried an enormous load during our Nation's longest war, deserve better.