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NEWS | Jan. 17, 2024

It's so rewarding to pass hope on.

By MaryTherese Griffin Army Recovery Care Program

Lt. Col. Tim Doherty had much to overcome after his last deployment in the Army. “In Aug 2015, I was the Deputy Surgeon for Special Operations at Camp Integrity in Afghanistan, and our base was attacked.”

He fell out of the security vehicle while riding around to help injured Soldiers. “I tore my left rotator cuff, and sometime later, while loading an injured Soldier, I tore my right bicep,” said the Army Reservist.
We first met Doherty in 2018 after he left the Ft. Stewart Soldier Recovery Unit. He shared one of the greatest gifts the SRU afforded him during his stay- the ability to leave. “I was given permission to leave the SRU to attend skills training at conferences. I went to one at the University of Georgia (UGA) Beekeeping Institute and learned to keep bees.”

Doherty knew he had to think beyond recovery at the SRU. He was diagnosed with PTSD in recent years and is even happier that he explored beekeeping and helping other Soldiers. “Every time I get into the bees, I talk about the sound of the bees in their hive. It is called the resonance of the note “c.” That’s the sound the bees make…it’s the same. It’s extremely calming. We built a farm up in Morgantown. I sold my house and bought 14 acres next to Blue Ridge. During COVID-19, I built a learning center. We have 30 bee hives and a greenhouse.” More than 100 Soldiers, at no cost to them, have been helped in the program he started called Doc’s Healing Hives.

The Medical Evacuation Helicopter Pilot will retire from the Army Reserve at the end of 2024 and, in a few months, will retire from his job as an assistant school principal. He will focus full-time on the therapy method he embraced while in recovery. “We were asked to apply for a USDA grant with UGA they had received previously. It’s the Farm Boot Camp. We will receive 71k dollars next year to help even more Soldiers.”

Right now, 30 veterans take advantage of the program, and 45 will be able to next year, thanks to the grant. “It's so rewarding to pass hope on.”

When Doherty reflects on his life in the Army and as an educator, he knows he was meant to help people. His great joy is helping fellow Soldiers past their pain and into a calm path. Every Soldier returning home has a different story, he says, and recognizing the first step that needs to be made is crucial.

“Find something that’s going to balance you and make you happy. We lose our sense of purpose when we come home and have to crawl out of that dark space. For me, it is beekeeping, nature, helping others, my lovely wife, and the excitement of the future.”

Doherty is transforming Veteran’s lives one hive at a time.