EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – There’s a bond that forms among soldiers, and that shared experience can act as a lifeline years-removed from active duty.
A few years ago, after returning home from several tours of duty, some local veterans decided to band together once again and venture out into the desert, in order to help themselves and their community.
Off Road Desert Therapy (ORDT) was created four years ago after veterans and active duty members found each other in far east El Paso and started talking to each other about experiences they had while on duty.
From there, they decided to gather in the desert and go off-roading in various locations around the area.
The convoys of jeeps and trucks ride out from rally points set around the area; from Red Sands to the numerous the desert trails in far east El Paso to the gullies and gulches north of Fabens and Tornillo, all as a way to relieve stress and combat their PTSD.
Members, like Andres Gutierrez, say it’s much more than just going out into the desert.
“Off-roading is a little bit bigger that what people think…it’s a tight community and I think that’s what kinda like you can relate from the Army and help out some of these guys that have been out and still be able to talk to them still be able to converse with them stuff you know overall. it’s tight and that’s what the military is.”
They also hold many events for their community, whether it be a family night or a food drive to help those in need.
Regardless, the main message they want to send is that they are focused on helping people and that wherever a veteran or active member may be, they are there for them as someone to talk to, and enjoy the therapy of an off road adventure.