Foundation donates $10K to MTSU’s ‘CERV’ program for veterans

A $10,000 donation from Grammy Award-nominated Mississippi rock back 3 Doors Down’s foundation will benefitMTSU students and faculty working in equine therapy with veterans from the Murfreesboro-based Veterans Recovery Center.


Along with his wife, Jen Arnold, an award-winning barrel race competitor herself, 3 Doors Down singer Brad Arnold and the band’s Better Life Foundation made the gift Tuesday (June 13) at the university’s Horse Science Center facilities on West Thompson Lane.


Brad Arnold presented the check for the Center of Equine Recovery for Veterans, or CERV program, to MTSU’s Andrea Rego and Rhonda Hoffman, director of the horse science program. Rego oversees CERV, coordinating student involvement that has reached a ninth regular session and second advanced session working with veterans.


The money is earmarked for horse care and equipment needed for the program, which began in 2013.


“We are extremely grateful for the donation,” Rego said.


Brad Arnold said he is keenly aware “the value of horses has added to my life, and I think there’s a lot to be learned from equine therapy and proud to be a part of this program to share that therapy with other people.”


The Center of Equine Recovery for Veterans, or CERV program, is a partnership between the Veterans Recovery Center, a psychosocial rehabilitation center, and MTSU Horse Science. CERV offers VRC veterans an opportunity to ride and benefit from interacting with horses while MTSU students gain valuable experience in helping facilitate the sessions.


The Better Life Foundation is a charity organization established by 3 Doors Down in 2004. It has raised and distributed more than $3 million to reputable children’s charities, local municipalities and faith-based groups to achieve its goals of helping local communities. More information is available at


MTSU recording industry alumnus Chet Roberts (Class of 2004) attended along with band manager JP Durant.


Brian McSpadden, recreation therapist with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System’s Alvin C. York campus, shared with those attending the many benefits of equine therapy.

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