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‘Retiring’ Construction Equipment Donated for Veterans Program

by on November 12, 2018
Shown above: Some of the AEP-donated equipment.

(Story by Linda O’horo)

Instead of being auctioned off, some used construction equipment has been donated by AEP — to a place where it will be used to help veterans and others with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).

A new facility, to be built on a farm in central Ohio, will enable veterans with PTSD and rescued horses to work together to heal.

The equipment donated by AEP will be used to first build an arena for equine therapy, followed by greenhouses and a retention pond.

Watch a video on the project.

This facility — where veterans can learn about potential careers in greenhouse farming and aquaculture — will be operated by True North Veteran Support, a nonprofit foundation created by Susan and Bill Barr, who live on the farm.

The Barrs told Ruth Robinson about their plans. Robinson, who retired from AEP in 2017 as manager of Generation Contracts, set up a meeting with Susan and Scott Smith, AEP Transmission senior vice president of Transmission Field Services & Controls.

After discussing construction needs, Smith contacted Diana Weaver, managing director of Supply Chain and Fleet Operations. They were very happy to assist in this effort.

AEP found and donated eight pieces of heavy construction equipment, which had been used in the Ohio and Indiana Michigan Power regions: a forklift, skid steer, two dump trucks, and four trailers.

True North Veteran Support recently held a groundbreaking event to kick-off the arena construction project.

Some veterans who were there were excited about the possibilities for this new program.

Joe Machado, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, said “what this facility is, is another step in the direction of dealing with the veterans who come back with needs that aren’t being handled by the official sources — the VA doesn’t have anything like this.”

Ohio VFW commander David Root said that when veterans return and experience PTSD, “the slightest little thing will kick back memories that they don’t know are there, and suddenly they are re-living things that they don’t want to. And sometimes they can get through it on their own. But other times they can’t. Those who are around them know what to do to help them get around it.”

Robert Barr, who earned his Purple Heart in Korea, said, “These people will be around a gentle animal like a horse, and it will calm them down and help tremendously. I think this is going to help save a lot of veterans’ lives.”

From → News From AEP

One Comment
  1. jprovan1 permalink

    Great to see support for this veterans program. Go AEP.

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