He came back from the war with PTSD. But he and his dog found an 'adventurous' way to deal with it.

Meet Stephen Simmons.

He's an army veteran who fought in the Iraq War.


That's him on the right.

After returning from war, Simmons struggled to adjust to life back home.

He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a common affliction among war vets and others who have lived through life-threatening events.

So he started seeing a therapist.

But eventually, he needed something more. He had too much pent-up energy that was presenting as stress, anxiety, and all the other crappy feelings that come with PTSD.

The couch wasn't gonna cut it.

That's when Simmons discovered adventure therapy.

According to the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, adventure therapy usually takes place in the wilderness and "involves the combination of physically and psychologically demanding activities, usually (but not always) conducted in a group setting."

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Simmons told the story of his first experience with adventure therapy. It wasn't a typical group activity, but he did have a friend tag along — his dog, Puppi.

He and Puppi set out to climb a mountain. And despite a dangerous lack of preparation, they achieved their goal. And Simmons descended to safety having learned something critical to his fight against PTSD:

"I realized that I cared a lot more about what happened to me than I thought I did. There's something about balancing on the slope of a mountain, pumped full of adrenalin, and close to the top. It was quite an adventure and accomplishment."
— Stephen Simmons

Soon after that day, Simmons adopted a kitten, which became the third member of his adventure therapy troop.

He named her Burma the Adventure Cat.

There's Burma bringin' up the rear.

The adventurous trio has crossed many a stream and conquered many a mountain since Simmons came home from the war, and they plan to keep it up for as long as they're able.

Adventure therapy has been life-saving for Simmons.

And he believes it can be for a lot of other people. If you know a veteran who's battling PTSD, share this story with them. Who knows? It could be exactly what they need.

Click play to see Simmons, Puppi, and Burma in action:

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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