Cape Coral teen’s project benefits SWFL veterans battling PTSD

One Cape Coral teenager led volunteers building horse shelters at Miles Ranch, which helps veterans battling PTSD overcome their trauma through equine-assisted therapy.

Max Mangone, 16, said his Eagle Scout project is a way to give back to those who protect our country, and that Cape Coral South Home Depot helped him plan and build his idea.

“We’re making two horse paddocks which are used for horses to have shade in the hot summers,” Mangone said.

Miles Ranch President Keith Doxie said those shelters will be put to great use as they use the 20-acre lot in North Fort Myers to pair veterans with horses for therapy sessions. The property and its purpose are close to Doxie’s heart.

“The ranch was founded after our son passed away a week before going into the service,” Doxie said. “It’s just a way to help and to honor our son.”

Now, Miles Ranch honors his memory by sharing his passion and using equine-assisted therapy to empower veterans to overcome their trauma. Miles Doxie’s horse, Marshall, can still be seen on the lot working with guests.

“Last year in services provided was about 60,000 that we provided free to veterans, and also our therapist is pro-bono,” Doxie said. “No one at the ranch actually paid.”

Keith Doxie said there are powerful moments that happen on his ranch, moments made possible by the community coming together. Their service is inspiring the Cape Coral Boy Scout to give his time, too.

“It’s a great feeling to know that I’m helping a bunch of people that need help and they can come out here and use what I made to help them,” Mangone said.

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