New program launches to heal veterans through sailing

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA (KOLO) Operation Vet Sail is a national program that has recently launched at Lake Tahoe. It teaches veterans and active duty military members how to sail. The goal is to help veterans heal from PTSD, stress and other physical injuries.

"We want to help veterans when they come back. If they have stress-related issues or anxiety, to come enjoy sailing and get out of their element and find something new they might enjoy and get some healing from," sailing instructor Michelle Dawn says.

Dale White is a Marine who served in Vietnam. He says coping with PTSD comes down to triggers soldiers have from being in the service.

"When you recognize those, you recognize certain things that you need to do or avoid doing, and to me, coming out on the water like this is like when I was overseas and I was aboard ship and it was calm. And that's when things were somewhat good the rest of the time; on land it wasn't good so coming out here it's a bit of a calming effect," White says.

Army veteran Jeremy Parker says sailing brings him a sense of peace. His service dog, Copper, is also along for the journey.

"There's a lot to keep track of; you've got the boat, you've got weather, other boats and you have to employ all of these things to so you forget about some of the land stuff when you're out here on the water," he says.

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