DAYTON - One in three combat troops report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder but only about half seek help, however, Flathead Lake Sailing School is working to make a difference in their lives.
The American Sailing Association started a program for veterans where they can take an instructional sailing course at a discounted rate. The serene nature of sailing is designed to be therapeutic and a way to relieve stress while giving thanks to those who served.
The program encourages veterans to get out on the water to take their mind off of day to day things and enjoy being a part of the community.
"I know a couple (veterans) that don't really like to talk about their time in the service, particularly my friends that were over in Vietnam, places like that, it was pretty traumatic for them but this gives somebody an opportunity to kind of put that behind them and get out there," said Bill Leake, veteran and sailing school instructor.
Bill served six years in the navy aboard the nuclear submarines and after his time in the navy he still worked for them as a civilian instructor for nuclear submarine officers. He said he decided to sail and become an instructor because it is a great experience he can share with his friends and family.
Flathead Lake Sailing School is the only sailing school in Montana to offer the certified ASA veteran sailing program, and owner Captain Genevieve Evans said she loves being able to give thanks to those who sacrificed so much.
"It's a great way for veterans to get out and connect with the water and the winds and the waves and be a part of the sailing community," said Evans.
To sign up for a lesson or visit the Flathead Lake Sailing School, you can head to this link. https://www.flatheadlakesailingschool.com/