ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – On this weeks edition of Absolutely Abilene, News Director Manny Diaz and KRBC Anchor Abby Green visited a farm where local veterans and horses work together in the round pen to help each other.

There are many battles local veteran Jess Matterson saw first hand after nine years of service with the marines.

“Combined PTSD, depression, addiction, intense for a veteran,” Matterson shared.

Although, for some of his brothers and sisters in service, these weren’t easy things to shake.

“Suicide crisis unnecessary and unacceptable…” Matterson said.

He met another local veteran, Spence Pittman, and began a friendship that would grow into something more. After losing one of his service brothers to veteran suicide, Pittman wanted to help others fighting this and become part of the solution. 

“Came up with the challenge to end veteran suicide, because he had to attend the funeral of one of his service brothers…” Pittman.

Through a meeting of the minds, Matterson joined Pittman in his local non-profit called ‘Embrace the Ruck,’ a group created just for veterans.

“Having a support system here is vital, not only to us but the community…” Pittman.

To their surprise, they also discovered yet another resource. Local ranch owner Heather Bowden and her family have had a horse ranch just north of Abilene for quite some time. Thus giving Bowden the idea to share her 21 best friends with those who need them most.

“They come out here and they connect with the horse and they don’t judge ‘em…” Pittman explained.

These bonds provide tranquility and a sense of calmness that Pittman said you can’t get anywhere else.