A Mountain Retreat Arms Veterans To Help Their Struggling Comrades

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Bonnie Walton and son
Bonnie Walton with 18-year-old son Evan, one of Brian and Bonnie's three boys.

It started with the suicide of a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Heather Ehle, founder and CEO of Granby, Colo.-based Project Sanctuary, which organizes retreats for military families, got a disturbing call. It was from Bonnie Walton whose family had recently been on one of the retreats. Her husband, Brian Walton, had taken his life.

  • Read our story on Project Sanctuary

The call inspired Ehle to start Walton's Warriors, which brings together a group of veterans and active duty soldiers to learn counseling skills from professionals. The theory behind it: it takes a veteran to know a veteran. In February, Ehle started the 10-month training program designed to help veterans prevent suicide among their peers.

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 veterans die by suicide each day.

Project Sanctuary's Heather Ehle speaks with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.