HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Utah Ranch helps veteran families recover and reconnect

Jun 16, 2023, 5:46 PM

MORGAN, Utah — A military family in Morgan County is helping veteran families from around the country recover and reconnect after enduring PTSD, and injuries while in a war zone.

The Schlicte family started the Warrior Rizen Ranch to help military and law enforcement families overcome some of their unique challenges.

Feeding the chickens can be a chore but at the Warrior Rizen Ranch, it’s an opportunity to work as a family.

The Fredricksen family traveled all the way from Virginia Beach to connect in a way that hasn’t always been a part of their lives.

“We are in it for so long that, like sometimes you don’t realize how much you’re hurting and how much you’ve been avoiding things,” Ji Fredricksen said. She and her husband are both Navy. She’s retired and he’s still on active duty.

Robert Fredricksen said, “I think far too many people just accept it and try to deal with it on their own.”

They say that hurts loved ones. The Fredricksen showed up for some together time here as well as much-needed therapy.

Ji said, “Very much in a male-dominant career, I was very much praised for being strong and stern and even-keeled, but yeah, I think everything catches up to you.”

She said it was time to change that.

Tanner Hance was an explosive ordinance disposal technician in the Army.

“We had somebody that got shot just in front of me and I was just trying to move him down the hill,” he said.

Injuries during an encounter with a sniper led to his retirement, basically intense stress on some of his ligaments.

He called it, “Definitely a humbling experience.”

His multiple deployments impacted his family over 11 years of marriage.

“I’ve been gone probably 200 days a year,” he explained.

Talking with others who have some of those shared experiences is invaluable.

“There’s people here with much worse injuries than I have and just being able to come out and share the experience with them is pretty awesome,” Hance said.

While it may be tough to accept any help, these military families said it’s important to try.

“If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones,” Ji said.

Those families just completed their weeklong stay and go home Saturday.

The ranch held a concert fundraiser Friday night. If you missed it you can learn more about the ranch and donate here.

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Utah Ranch helps veteran families recover and reconnect