June 19 2019 02:03 PM

The Sarasota, Florida-based organization trains participants in agriculture and landscaping skills.

Operation Eco Vets is an organization in Sarasota, Florida, that’s helping veterans make the transition from military to civilian life by giving them a new opportunity learning agricultural and landscaping skills, according to an article on Fox 13 News website.

The organization is located on the all-organic Green Path Veterans Farm in Sarasota and was originally created by Florida Veterans for Common Sense. With Operation Eco Vets, veterans are surrounded by people who understand what they’re experiencing returning from deployments. Being part of the group, they are given training in agriculture, landscaping and entrepreneurship to help them transition from military to civilian life.

Army veteran Billy Pritchett already has his own business, mainly working as a handyman, but working on the farm has helped him explore a different path, possibly in edible landscaping. He says this is the area he’ll be trying to grow his business in over the next few years.

Air Force veteran Abbey Skinner now teaches alternative medicine and holistic nutrition. She thinks the shared experience, the camaraderie and the herbs they grow at the garden all help with healing. Skinner says when they show up at the farm, it’s like an instant family.

Operation Eco Vets offers paid internships in edible landscaping in which vets can become certified by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association. The group also offers “boot camp” gardening classes that are free to veterans.

For more information visit the Operation Eco Vets website.