Gifts to Our Community: Active Heroes
Providing a purposeful retreat for military heroes is a service Troy Yocum wanted to offer since the age of 10. “My grandfather dealt with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” Troy says. His grandfather spent time serving in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, and afterwards suffered from depression and PTSD. Troy’s grandfather took his own life in 1980.
“My family members struggled with my grandfather’s suicide,” Troy says. “It was a retreat for survivors that my family went to in 1989 that convinced me a retreat center was needed to help military families.” In 2011, Troy, who is a veteran himself and served in Iraq, founded Active Heroes — a program that’s on a mission to end veteran suicide by providing healing activities for military heroes and their families.
Active Heroes furnishes programs and pastimes specifically designed to help veterans stay active and engaged in the community. The Active Heroes Retreat Center, located in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, was designed by military families and is open to them free of charge. This healing space offers family cabins, hiking, archery, yoga, and has plans to expand even further through 2020.
“Our other program is called The Active Heroes Community Center. While the retreat center focuses on outdoor activities, the community center focuses on indoor fitness and social-related activities,” says Troy, the president and founder. The Community Center is located within Louisville Athletic Club in Jeffersontown and holds many national events in an effort to build a supportive community where veterans can stay connected with military and civilian families.
“Our motto is, ‘One veteran suicide is one too many,’” Troy says. This is why Active Heroes wants its heroes to know, “There’s always help out there. We’re taught as military members that pain is weakness and not to talk about our issues. The reality is that it takes courage to speak out.” Active Heroes is actively listening while helping military heroes remain engaged so that they may heal.