Georgia man creates a sanctuary for veterans in crisis

“I am proud of the fact that when you call HERO Agriculture you will never get someone that says, ‘press 1.’ You will always get a person,”
One Gordon County man will not give up on veterans struggling with mental health.
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 6:34 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - One Gordon County man will not give up on veterans struggling with mental health.

Veterans come to non-profit farm HERO Agriculture when they are in crisis.

“Here we say, ‘mission gives you purpose, purpose gives you hope and hope gives you tomorrow,” said Founder Mike Reynolds. “You never know all the veterans that you save but you always know the one that you didn’t.”

The best way to see the power of this place is through reactions like volunteer Colin Meaders.

“It is emotional when someone looks at you and says, ‘You changed my life,’ said Colin.

Reynolds was deployed to Iraq in 2009. He was injured during an attack and came home with a Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD. He had to learn how to speak again. but had a friend who got him into farming to help.

“The reason I am alive today was because I was a part of something that was bigger than me. Two, every morning I woke up I had something that depended on me,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds founded HERO Agriculture to bring that healing to other people. Some veterans are referred from other programs, others just show up at his doorstep. Most with suicide on their minds.

They come to the 82-acre farm and Reynolds puts them to work.

Little things like feeding cattle become reminders of purpose.

“One you come up here and meet a couple of guys, and they are going home, and you know they are going to be productive that is what it is about,” said Colin.

When the work is over for the day, Reynolds’ job continues. He does not give up on anyone.

“I call a veteran twice. If he doesn’t answer the phone, he gets 3 texts, after that I show up in his living room,” said Mike, “This entire community did not give up on me after I got hurt.”

This is the place people come to feel valued again, to value again, to believe, again, in forgiveness.

HERO Agriculture is self-funded: