Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Lockstep with Nature: A new bill will help veterans find healing outside

Veteran Maury Argento
Photo by 
Bhavya Thyagarajan Photography

United States Army veteran Maury Argento prefers to get her exercise outside.

Sometimes she hikes with her family, but more often than not this businesswoman and mom climbs San Francisco’s hills and outdoor stairways with her two dogs and infant child. Captain Argento has been out of the military for nearly 15 years, after having served for six years with specializations in weapons of mass destruction and communications.

Primarily stationed in Germany, she was also deployed to a Saudi Arabia combat zone for a time, and after returning to civilian life was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. “I was on medication, but the most effective thing for me has always been exercise and being outdoors. I suffer substantially if I don’t get exercise and get outside,” she said.

Argento found her way outdoors for healing, but not all vets do. More of them may be following in her footsteps, however, thanks to the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors (AVRO) Act.