Among the duties of the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), at Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall is the training and care of the horses used for official functions including funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. These two were out in the paddock recently doing a bit of mutual back scratching.
In addition to ceremonial duties the Old Guard also runs a Therapeutic Riding Program TRP) for soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at their facility at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County VA. Currently there are approximately 175 wounded warriors enrolled in the program run by U.S. Army Caisson Platoon, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Soldiers enrolled in the program groom horses, help in maintaining the grounds and stalls and ride if they are able.
For the previous six years on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the program has served 25-30 service members a year. This year the TRP was relocated to a newly built barn and stable. The new facility sits on nearly 10 acres just minutes from the Fort Belvoir. The larger space offers the chance for more soldiers to enroll in the program and is close to both the new Ft Belvoir Hospital and Wounded Warrior Transition Unit.
The goal of the program is to get wounded soliders out of the clinical setting of the hospital and wounded warrior transition unit to a location where they can relax and recover. It’s nice to see the program expanded and help more soldiers recover from PTSD and TBI.