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Friday, November 11, 2011

Taos Townspeople Serve Those Who Have Served This Country

From the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and the Sierra Club:

Today, hundreds of Taos residents converged on Taos Plaza to honor local veterans and to participate in a Sierra Club and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps-sponsored service project to beautify the public space. Citizens spruced up the plaza and broke ground for a memorial tree planting.

“Today we honored our veterans by asking the community to serve those who have served us,” said Kristina Ortez de Jones of the Sierra Club. “Spending time outdoors provides immeasurable benefits for those who have suffered from stress and depression.  This outdoors service project is one way we can start to repay the soldiers for their commitment to our country and get us all outside on Veterans Day.”

Soldiers returning home suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression at higher rates than the civilian population.  Approximately 20 veterans and active duty soldiers commit suicide every day.

“One way to help veterans assimilate back into civilian life is to provide them with an alternative outlet and connection with nature,” said Mark Lemke, a veteran and Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors Apprentice. “Nature and the outdoors can be a salve for the wounded soldier.”

“Community service benefits everyone in ways that we are only beginning to discover, and I encourage everyone to spend some time volunteering. Before serving in the Navy, I spent two terms as an AmeriCorps member at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.   I felt the pride of accomplishment associated with community service and wish this for everyone,” Pascual Maestas, AmeriCorps Member, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps recognizes and engages the strengths and potential of youth through team service in schools, communities and the landscapes of northern New Mexico.  To learn more, please visit www.youthcorps.org.

Mission Outdoors in Taos, New Mexico is committed to creating outdoor experiences for children, youth and families, so that everyone has the opportunity to explore and enjoy our natural heritage.  For more information, please visit www.sierraclub.org/missionoutdoors.

November 11, 2011 at 04:52 PM in Taos, Veterans, Youth | Permalink

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