For Wayne Deyette, a retired Navy combat veteran who was deployed 13 times for six months or longer, the days he spends with horses and other veterans is the best therapy he can imagine.
“It helps us deal with our PTSD. At the end of the day, a lot of us don't like sitting down and going back over everything that we've been through,” Deyette says. “It’s good when you can get out with a group of people that are like-minded and just talk.”
Deyette participates in the Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program, an initiative designed to help service members not only heal but also face life challenges through “camaraderie, teamwork and confidence-building on horseback.” JMHP is part of the Semper Fi and America’s Fund, a nonprofit that cares for our nation's critically wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, and military families.
Since the Jinx McCain program’s beginnings in 2011, hundreds of service members and veterans have honed their horsemanship by working on cattle ranches across the country. In addition to sharpening their riding and roping skills, these veterans learn related skills to help them develop their own businesses or hobbies. This spring, Lone Star Ropes was proud to be a sponsor of a JMHP spur-making clinic in Texas.
“I can’t thank Lone Star Ropes enough for what you do for me and my fellow combat brothers and sisters,” Deyette says. “Since I retired in 2016, I’ve purchased various horses and fell in love with the roping side of ranch working. Lone Star makes an amazing product, and is an amazing company that supports military veterans, and that means more than words can say.”
Lone Star Ropes, which for years has supported these types of clinics for veterans with rope donations, is proud to be a sponsor.
“It is our honor and privilege to support these veterans,” says Amber Pate, co-owner of Lone Star Ropes. “We celebrate our freedom because of their sacrifices. They are true heroes in every sense of the word.”
In September, Deyette and his fellow Jinx McCain veterans will head to Dillon, Montana to work on a ranch to move 3,000 head of cattle on horseback. Roping is an essential skill, he says
“It’s been interesting to get out there and learn how to rope a calf from horseback or rope a cow from horseback,” he says. “Just to be able to get them from point A to point B.”
The work is therapeutic.
“It’s just very relaxing,” says Deyette, who works as a government contractor in Williamsburg, Virginia. “It’s kind of a reset. It gets you away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There’s no cell phone reception. It’s just you, the horses, and the people that you're there with.”
He and wife, also a combat veteran, have built lifelong friendships through Jinx McCain as they’ve worked on ranches throughout the country.
“You build the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood with these people - whether it's Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard,” Deyette says. “You have a connection with those members when you're out there together (on ranches). I've built lifelong friendships.”