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Unlikely Recruits 

How God Enlists Horses To Heal Veterans

Everyone has a story they struggle with, especially those with PTSD. It’s the story that haunts them at night and chases them all day. It’s the one they had no intention of telling – until now.

Unlikely Recruits Book Trailer

Why I Wrote Unlikely Recruits

As a tribute to our Dad, a WWII Army veteran who struggled terribly with PTSD. I wrote it in response to the many, many veteran-connected people I’ve talked to, met with, and tried to console, and convince… there’s hope for vets haunted by PTSD. But not just to “say it”, and pat them on the back, but to give proof of it by sharing stories that are witness to the transformations.

I wrote Unlikely Recruits to help reduce the rate of veteran suicides, to give them a help them Come Home. 

I wrote it to help save veteran lives!

Who I Wrote Unlikely Recruits For

The countless veterans who struggle…every day with paralyzing depression, and anxiety…fear! The fear of being around other people, the fear of leaving their home, the fear and anxiety of driving under an overpasses…no matter where they live. The fear of passing an odd object on the side of the road…FEAR of the unknown. They lived it non-stop and can’t just turn it off like a light switch.  This book will help them manage that!

Family, friends, and co-workers who are desperate to understand their veteran better… and find ways to support them. They love them…they want to help them…they just don’t know how. This book will help them!

Those left behind grieving a veteran they lost. Still…still… 22-veterans per day take their lives because they can’t hang on any longer with the deadly weight of hopelessness pulling them under. This book gives them hope!

Social workers and therapists, horse and all animal lovers… who’s precious spirit and curiosity are stirred to find new and creative ways to help those stuck in trauma. This book will show them how!

Why Can I Be So Bold?

I can tell you… my belief in how it will help and give hope… isn’t made out of thin air… or smoke and mirrors. No! I know it… because I lived it…right alongside some of the most courageous and honorable veterans a person could ever hope to meet and call friends.

That’s why I can say all these things about Unlikely Recruits! Because it doesn’t come from a place of ego…it comes from miles… and hundreds of hours of experience.

UR Cover.jpg

Synopsis of Unlikely Recruits

After founding Trinity’s Veteran Wellness Program, I learned every vet struggling with PTSD has a story. It’s the story that haunts them at night and chases them all day. It’s the story they had no intention of telling – until now.” Mattson says.


Mattson has been granted unprecedented permission to present a collection of such stories in Unlikely Recruits. Each story is inspired by true events, gathered over her decades of working with horses, veterans, and putting her faith into action.


“Every day I was reminded that for the vets who came to us for help, we weren’t their first choice – not even their second or third. We were their last resort. And most veterans initially believed a horse was, as the title of my book suggests, an Unlikely Recruit for their battle.” Mattson shares. This book oozes of grit and guts and is presented in a daring and bare-all manner. It tells the trials and triumphs, the revolting and redeeming, and the horror and hope that takes place within a veteran’s soul on their journey to healing. A healing so transformational, it is way beyond what we – or they – could ever have imagined.

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