Ranch for military veterans severely damaged by Hurricane Irma

Published: Updated:

Miles Ranch uses horses to help treat combat veterans with post traumatic stress disorder. The North Fort Myers ranch owned and operated by Keith and Gail Doxie needs some help after Hurricane Irma.

Most of the 20-acre ranch was covered with water after the storm and still on Thursday horses grazed in saturated fields. The storm water is dangerous for the horses to drink but the storm also damaged stables and fences so they’re able to roam free. The office was also damaged by the storm and many horse saddles were ruined.

Keith Doxie comes from a military family. He was in the Air Force, his dad served and his uncle died in combat. His son Miles, died in a car accident one week before starting a career in the Air Force. “Had he been in combat he probably would have experienced that or had a friend that experienced something that would result in PTSD and I know that he would want to help. He’d be the first one there so I think this is kind of the best way to carry on his legacy” said Keith.

Gail is a licensed therapist who works with the vetarans who come to the ranch. The Doxie’s estimate she gave away $60-70,000 worth of service to veterans in the last year.

Bobby Miniaci was a combat engineer who worked clearing roadside bombs before he was shot in the leg while serving in Iraq. He credits the ranch and the Doxie’s for giving him purpose. “My acclimation was really difficult because of the work I was doing. I was trained to look for anything that wasn’t supposed to be on the roads and assume it’s always the worst so if I found any trash while I was driving down the road it would freak me out” said Miniaci who says the equestrian treatment at the ranch and professional therapy from Gail has changed his life. “The horses can sense your anxiety so if you’re nervous, they’re nervous and they won’t move so you have to learn to control your anxiety to accomplish your mission” said Miniaci.

To donate to the Miles Ranch recovery effort click here

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.