Saturday, September 17th was a special day for guests and members of the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch (COVR) who attended the screening of the new documentary, "Cover Me, The Path to Purpose." The film is a joint production between Suzanne DeLaurentiis of DeLaurentiis Productions and Central Oregon Veterans Ranch Founder, Alison Perry.
Members of the Oregon aviation industry, and Veteran owned businesses stepped up in a big way to support the premiere including Dale and Susie Neubauer of Bend-based HeliLadder and long-time friends of Perry who attended the screening. Leading Edge Flight Academy, one of the nation’s largest flight schools with a 60% veteran student ratio, ToughGuard, a Portland-based innovator of protective coating for aircraft, and New Moon Aviation, a veteran-owned aircraft maintenance business based in Madras, Oregon, were also supporters of the screening.
The documentary highlighted the Oregon-based non-profit’s innovative and “organic” approach to healing veterans with military trauma. The vision of Alison Perry, a military family member and former trauma therapist in the Department of Veterans Affairs, engages veterans in farming, agriculture, and peer support as a way of building community for an often marginalized and misunderstood population. Cover Me features Perry’s eloquent articulation of the methodology of healing and the differences in a holistic approach vs. the traditional medical model, as well as the stories and testimonials of veterans.
“There’s a difference between curing and healing. I would call the Ranch an organic approach to healing. It’s not prescribed.” Perry says.
The documentary features the stories of 8 veteran participants, all survivors of combat and other military-related traumas. Veterans of different eras share their experience of the healing and connection that occur in this sanctuary where they grow food, care for animals, receive peer support, and most importantly, build community.
“There’s no judgment here,” remarks Vietnam Corpsman Marv Kaplan, who is featured in the documentary. "It doesn’t matter what era you served in, we all share similar experiences.”