As a veteran of the United States Army, Les Van Horn is one of millions of veterans in the U.S. who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While suffering from PTSD, moderate TBI and high anxiety, Van Horn finally discovered something that helped with his post-Iraq symptoms – flying drones.
Les joined the Army as a 13B Field Artillery Crewmen. Soon after arriving at his first duty station at 4th Battalion 29th Field Artillery, he was selected to be the driver for the new Battalion Commander. Throughout his 16+ years in the Army, Les held other roles such as an Enlisted Aide, Secretary of General Staff (SGS) Section Chief, and Platoon Sergeant. While deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, Les’s vehicle convey experienced two hits by an IED and once by VBIED; no soldier/vehicle personnel fatalities. Due to these incidents, Les was medically retired from the Army after 16 years 10 months and 28 days of active duty service.
Flying Drones to Aid PTSD
Once medically retired, Les went from working 18-20hr days, 7 days a week for up to 6 months at a time to having a lot of free time at his California home. He experienced low concentration, hyper vigilance, high anxiety, and always had to sit with his back to a wall. Les felt that he was no longer in control of his life, and he couldn’t find anything to do without his symptoms becoming an issue.
Things began to positively change for Les after visiting Mission Bay in San Diego where he saw people flying drones. A drone operator let Les fly his drone and Les instantly loved it. Les explained, “While flying drones, I feel that I am in control of my life again. Flying drones has really lowered my anxiety and it’s something I can do where my symptoms don’t interrupt. Flying drones has made me feel comfortable again to actually be able to do something without my symptoms interfering.” Les now owns a DJI Mavic Pro and enjoys flying regularly.
While flying drones, Les has found temporary relief and time away from his PTSD.
Flying Above PTSD and Into Success
Les hopes to continue flying drones and turn his hobby into a career. The U.S. Veteran sees a bright future in flying commercially for construction, 3D mapping, power line inspections, wind farm inspections, building inspections and more.
To Les and all U.S. Veterans – thank you for your service to this country and happy Veterans Day!
To honor all United States veterans, DARTdrones is offering 15% off your entire purchase until November 16th.Enter the coupon code ‘VET2018’ at checkout. For any questions on drone training, call the DARTdrones Team at 800-264-3907 or email [email protected].