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Rock Ventures Seeks To Help Veterans

There are a lot of programs designed to reach out to veterans, but there is one in the greater Rochester area that goes to new heights.
There are a lot of programs designed to reach out to veterans, but there is one in the greater Rochester area that goes to new heights. 

Elias Ramos can shoot a gun with precision. But this is something the war veteran was not taught in basic training.

"It's a good workout. It's different; challenging," he said.

He shares the walls at Rock Ventures with other veterans in the Shared Adventures program.

"It's a good place for us to come as veterans because after you have done enough time in the service, the way you think [and] the way you behave is different," he said.

The Shared Adventures program literally brings them much closer together. Ramos took me up high to show what this program is about- a place to get over fears. He says some of the vets have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries, so this is kind of like group therapy. 

"Shared Adventures gives the opportunity to build a bond you lost when you left the military," Antenehe Demissie said.

"It's awesome just hanging out with guys. If we have similar issues going on, we can talk about it," Donnie Smith said.

Rock Ventures owner Kent Winchester started the program three years ago. 

"My vision is veterans coaching veterans," he said.

The vets also head to the outdoors and do internships.

"My whole belief is that veterans should not be left behind on the civilian battlefield, and sometimes they feel like that," Winchester said.

This New Year's Eve, you can join the vets and their families for the first "Rock The Walls" event. Money raised will go to the Veterans Outreach Center. 

"This one holiday is all about new beginnings and starting over and starting fresh," he said.

These vets hope others like them can join in their journey. 
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