Nothing short of another amazing ski trip in Granby, Colorado this past week, with this group of Purple Heart Veterans breaking through all sorts of barriers. This group like many others immediately bonded even though they didn’t know each prior and traveled from New Mexico, Texas and Mississippi. We arrived in Colorado to a very warm welcome from the Garden of the Gods Rotary Club bearing gifts and goodies for each one of our warriors on behalf of the Colorado Springs Visitor Center. Over the years of traveling to Granby we have made some incredible friends at Project Sanctuary, DeAntonio’s Pizzeria, Granby Ranch Ski Resort, the National Sports Center for the Disabled, Grand County Veterans group, EAA Chapter 1267, Grand Adventures Snow Mobile Tours and world renowned ski instruction Don Neiters. We thank all of them for helping us build a great trip and we certainly couldn’t get there without the help of the Veterans Airlift Command and the Southern Heritage Air Foundation.
“I had the opportunity to do things that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise, I skied and snowmobiled for the first time and got to see beautiful country, “stated Purple Heart Johnny Raines. Johnny was not alone, most all of this group were new to the slopes, the snowmobiles, hot springs, private flights over the mountains and a couple of up close encounters with some moose. “This was a great escape that allowed me to relax and enjoy myself” said Purple Heart David Inbody.
These trips always bring out the inner child in them all. They raced downhill on ski bikes; sling shot each other on the tubing hill and made some magnificent snow angels! Purple Heart Jared Kinsey added, “This is a great chance to enjoy judgement free/story time with people that understand my story.” All the fun we provide on these trips creates an environment where the walls come down and hearts swell. They get comfortable, have fun and this allows for a more relaxed ability to open up about their story, share it again, lay down the burden, and make it more normal. Our talks around the bonfire and the dinner table helps them to be accepting of where they are, who and what they lost, and to be ok with it all.
Sadly, these weeks have to come to an end but not without sending our Purple Heart Veterans off with new tools to help, “maintain when things get overwhelming,” per Rianes, and also leaving our mark on Granby, CO. We are now the "Purple Heart police" having called in to 911 about a very erratic driver in front of us. Turned out we took a “heck of a lot of heroine off the streets” said Granby Police Officer, who knows whose lives were changed that night for the better. That’s what this is all about, getting healthy so our strongest warrior hearts can help others in this world.
See more photos from our Annual Ski Granby Bonfire Trip!
We are starting 2017 with a bang! Two hunting trips in one weekend in two states! (Well actually three if you count a spur of the moment run to Texas to hunt pigs)
As we have for the last three years, we hosted a crew for what has become one of our most sought after events, the Annual Valley Park Deer Hunt in Mississippi. There is always “good fun, good folks and a good time” according to founder Dan Fordice. This event is hosted personally by Dan and his brother Hunter Fordice at their personal lodge where the concept of the Bonfire was originally inspired. Along with the morning and afternoon hunts for both deer and duck, there is always, a bit of fun at the range!
"Helping my brothers is what's helping me." ~Allen Pugh, Purple Heart Veteran
Further south at Johnson Bayou in Louisiana, we had another group gathering at the Bonfire to escape the freezing temperatures up “north” but they too quickly found ice on the water and on the dogs! Hosted by our new friends Russell and Corey Badon, our Purple Heart Veterans found a warm welcome, great blinds and well trained dogs that set up the perfect environment to drop some birds. The cold weather was good for the ducks but our planned fishing trip out on the boats was a bit much with blazing winds. Therefore, we got our hunting credentials in order and took off for some pigs in Texas! A true "Gone to Texas" moment.
These events, as always, are more than just a hunt or a thank you for your service, they are about camaraderie, networking and discovering the tools to promote healing. They are about laying our burdens down, taking time to honor our brothers and sisters lost in battle, and accepting that they would never want to see us suffer on their behalf. Rather, go out and save another brother.
Many thanks to all those that support us by donating, volunteering, spreading the word and appreciating our Purple Heart Veterans.
Introducing the National Whitetail Warrior Project, an organization made up of some the best people Alabama has to offer! This past week we came together to host eight Purple Heart Veterans on a three day hunt at Water Valley Lodge in Gilbertown, Alabama. Our connection was made through an introduction of one of our Board of Advisor members, USAF Colonel Paul Nelson, as he saw a new organization with services to offer and another with vetted members that needed an opportunity to come together at the Bonfire.
A perfect fit that has a strong future ahead.
Veterans from Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia attended the first event for the NWWP as members of the Warrior Bonfire. We were treated to good food, beautiful terrain and a straight up high class Alabama lodge, complete with a perfect game room. The hunting was solid and our guys left with plenty of deer meat for tables across the Southeast this holiday season. But this hunt was more about a greater good than just a hunt. This was about being an example of why many organizations are needed versus just a few large organizations. Individually we fill needs on our own communities, we consistently touch and change lives in a personal way and resources sometimes don’t stretch as far as we need. When we come together and bring our strengths to the table, we educate more and we serve more. Because of this particular partnership the Warrior Bonfire Program will be able to offer more hunts for our alumni members and the National Whitetail Warrior Project will be able to rely on our ability to vet members for these hunts through our online registration and rule of prior travel on non-firearm events prior to attending a hunt.
We are so very grateful for this Bonfire hosted by the NWWP and are privileged to be a partner! Thank you to all that donated to make this event possible and to the Water Valley Lodge for their highly discounted rate. “Good People” as stated by several of the veterans that attended.
Please visit our Gallery to see more.
Thank you to all those that supported and donated to make this event a reality!
The Warrior Bonfire Program conducted its first west coast Bonfire Trip to sunny southern California. The California Beach Bonfire Trip took place at Del Mar Beach Resort, Camp Pendleton, California. Great weather, great surf and a great time was had by all near San Diego. This was also our first fully integrated bonfire trip with another veteran service organization, Warrior Passion, led by a retired Marine, Joe Porrazzo. There is nothing more powerful in the Veteran Care world than organizations working together for the greater good! Our deserving Veterans experienced not one, not two, but three organizations that truly care about their well-being. That worked great and we met a new partner in our quest to help those that have served us all.
Friday’s arrival found our Veterans Airlift Command partner soaring in on time carrying one of our Purple Hearts in style in a Phenom 1000 jet all decked out as if it had just departed the Star-ship Enterprise. Our Southwest traveler from Tampa was not so lucky with a very unexpected layover extension in Nashville but she arrived just in time for the icebreakers on Friday evening. Yes, we said she! Our first female Purple Heart and we couldn’t be more excited!
Beach-side cottages and a dinner spread of grilled tri-tip, bacon stuffed jalapenos, salad and beans awaited our special guests, which set the tone for the entire weekend! Chef Damien out did himself! After dinner we had our first of three campfires complete with s’mores!
Nothing like waking up at your leisure at the beach on a Saturday morning! A welcomed slow start led us to the paddle boards, right outside the back door as we hit Del Mar Boat basin. Lower gravity (sitting and kneeling) boarding is where we found comfort but what does that matter?! We’re at the beach! Of the five us on boards, only two fell in the water, so all good results and passing with flying colors!
Later that afternoon, we headed down to Carlsbad Lagoon and hit the jet skis. This was a blast and no one crashed or took a plunge. (That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!) Later, back at Del Mar, we did some Boogie Boarding and captured some well-deserved R&R. Following another great barbeque dinner, prepared by Chef Joe, we lit the fire, shared our stories and ate more s’mores. (With explanation to Whitney that yes, it’s ok that you burn the marshmallows first).
Our last full day in the water was a fantastic day. Troy (a US Marine Osprey Crew Chief), his wife Heather and their son Stone joined us at the beach to teach us how to surf! With wicked waves and the California Sun, the setting was perfect to celebrate one of our very own achieve getting up and riding the waves! That evening we closed the weekend with the Warrior Bonfire’s Signature Bonfire Ceremony. While a somber and difficult event, the bonfire always brings the group closer together, showing our members that we are all brothers and sisters, full of understanding and support. And of course, once again we ate s’mores!
As the sun rose on Monday, we all relaxed a bit before heading out and got to see Marines swimming with snorkel gear in the boat basin. Del Mar Boat Basin is where the Marines launch amphibious boats and train. It looked like PT as the Gunny, who was in a boat, provided a little bit of loud encouragement. With that, we found our hearts were happy as we all departed for home knowing we had formed a new band of brothers and sisters as part of Team Bonfire. Thank you to all those that made this weekend possible!
CHECK OUT OUR PHOTOS!
The Warrior Bonfire Program hosted an unscheduled couple’s trip to Colorado this past weekend. With the cancelation of our Fire in the Sky Gala, we had nonrefundable airline tickets for two of our Purple Heart couples, so we decided to show Charlotte & Greg and Tessa & Tim the Mile-High City and a little bit of Colorado. We wanted to take this opportunity to get their feedback on how best to meet one of the many needs that we are hearing from our veterans, and that is to provide more couple and family trips.
The couples arrived late Friday afternoon, and we went headed straight to the Buckhorn Exchange for a true Colorado dinner. The Buckhorn Exchange is “Denver’s original steakhouse” and is located in the city’s oldest neighborhood. This National Historic Landmark and Western Museum has been serving the finest in Old West fare since 1893. Since our couples were from the Deep South we mixed in a little bit of Dixie with the Old West having appetizers of fried alligator and buffalo sausage. Dinner, however, was all about the west with everyone ordering buffalo and/or elk. With 575 stuffed animals looking on that included moose, elk, bear, and deer, it is truly a western dining facility.
Saturday morning, we took the couples for a ride through Rocky Mountain National Park and the long drive up Trail Ridge Road to an elevation of over 12,000 feet. Stops along the way, up in the crisp and clear air provided many photo opportunities and a lot of wildlife spotting’s. We saw four Elk herds along with at least four Bull Elk. These gals and guys from the South had never heard of or seen a Marmotte, but they had an up-close sighting of one at the top of Trail Ridge.
After the long drive back to Denver and some rest, the kids (young adults) of our President Mike Foss cooked and served a great meal for our Purple Heart Couples. Dinner was followed by some powerful conversation around a Bonfire on the patio as a wrap up to the weekend. This gave the leadership of the organization some valuable insight as to how best approach Bonfire Trips for couples in the future based on the level of activity over this weekend. Relaxing and fluid schedules that offer various activities that can be done on their own or in groups is what they are looking. This will help foster and strengthen the relationship. Group activities are a definite as well but a good balance between the two is where we will strive. All in all the quick weekend getaway to the Mile High City was great fun and good lead into the Warrior Bonfire Program planning more couple events in the future!
We are excited to say with confidence that this fundraising event is and "Annual" event! Just completing our second year revealed tremendous growth in organization and participation! Our team of volunteer event coordinators strolled through this year without breaking a sweat as they put on one top of the line sporting clay shoots in the state of Mississippi, if not the entire country! Our Veterans that participated on the two Warrior Bonfire Teams, were well taken care of and the 210 shooters (yes, I said 210, a jump from 168 last year) were managed and processed through to their starting positions without a hitch! This shoot is well on its way to stardom in this sporting clay shoot world. We can say for certain, you don't want to miss out on this next year! Not only are we proud to say "Annual" but we can also add MS (Mississippi) to this title as we are growing in Texas with a shoot just around the corner on August 27, 2016, the WBP Dust Off for Dove Season Sporting Clay Shoot in Lumberton!
Situated on the pristine piece of land becoming well known as Camp Down Range, owned and operated by the CJ Stewart Foundation and the future home of the Bonfire Lodge, this shoot provided an exhilarating challenge to Master shooters and an extremely cool venue for our Hunter Class shooters. This two groups shoot among each other but do not compete against each other, offering fun for all on many levels. Not only are the shots over the lake, and through the woods, up and down the hilly trails outside of Clinton, a fantastic attraction for this type of shoot but the door prizes want to make you drool! Everything from overnights at the local casino hotels, fishing poles, conceal carry classes, grilling gear, shells, coolers, chairs, and much more adds that special touch to bring our shooters back each year.
We are incredibly grateful to our Sporting Clay Shoot Sponsors for helping us to put on such a wonderful shoot. The funds donated help us to provide a well run shoot that keeps the customers happy, guaranteeing to return next year. The funds also provide a weekend for 12 of our Bonfire Brothers that have been on trips in the past to come home so to speak to reunite with some of those we have introduced to them along the way. We host a full weekend for these Purple Hearts and it is something we could not do without our sponsor support! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts as well as our Purple Hearts.
We also want to call out all our volunteer shoot organizers for their huge devotion of time and generosity to make this AMAZING event take place. John Heggins - overall operations, Steven Tzotzolas - shoot operations, Lesa Wilson & Leigh Ann Vanlandingham - volunteer coordinators (and a whole lot more). Americorp - Stand Operators, Civil Air Patrol - Parking Attendants. Operation Sponsors - Sheffield Rentals, Ben Nelson Golf & Utility Vehicles, Capital City Beverage, Southern Heritage Air Foundation, Hinds Community College DMS Program, Vicksburg Catholic Schools, F&G Beverages Inc., H&M Promotions, CJ Stewart Foundation and Fordice Construction Co for land preparations. Lastly, our Staff Mike Foss, Helen Phillips and Andi Pugh.
Click here to see all the fun photos of the day! (Sadly we put away the cameras during the down pour.)
Click here to see placement results.
Stay tuned for next years Save the Date announcement!
Our 24th Bonfire brought us to the Colorado High Country where we enjoyed the crisp air, blue skies and starry nights of Rocky Mountains. Our group of Purple Heart recipients took advantage of the great outdoors in and around Granby enabling them all to enjoy the brotherhood and, as always, a ton of good food!
The group met at Solid Grounds in Littleton, CO to grab some smoothies and big cookies before the journey to Granby. Once everyone was settled in our mountain house and the kitchen was stocked with groceries for the weekend, the team loaded up and headed to Winter Park for a dinner feast at De Antonio’s. As he does every time the Bonfire visits the Fraser Valley, Frank De Antonio prepares a yummy Italian banquet for our Purple Heart recipients. With everyone’s stomach full, the group headed back to Granby Ranch for some bonding and a good night’s sleep in the cool mountain air.
Friday morning Team Bonfire headed down to the lodge at Granby Ranch to get fitted on mountain bikes and headed up the chairlift for some mountain biking in the woods and on the slopes at Ski Granby. A mix of experienced mountain bikers and newbies made for a fun ride and opened the ever present “No Man Left Behind” comforting feeling we find at every Bonfire event. We took in beautiful scenery and views of the mountains, rivers and alpine meadows. Of course, some were left a tad sore from the bike seats and bruises from a few tumbles, but the biggest bruises you can imagine were the egos! After lunch, the team headed to Grand Lake for a pontoon boat ride hosted by Rudy Perez and Darrell Herk. Rudy served as a great tour guide of the houses and land along the lake and this group will never forget Rudy’s infectious laugh! After the boat ride Team Bonfire headed to Hot Sulfur Springs to soak in the hot springs pool which felt great after biking. That night at the house it was Brats, Burgers and Bonding! A key part of these weekends is the ability for everyone to open up, get the issues, emotions and frustrations they find that every one of them deals with off their backs. They are safe in a small group and it creates real healthy change.
"Thanks for getting me out of my comfort zone. The mountain biking, horseback riding and telling my story"– Purple Heart Recipient John Cushman
We woke up Saturday for an early horseback ride through the meadows, along with some mud, and headed up the mountain. What a great view from the top! On the way down we were rerouted as some “llamas” were loose. Our guide Matt read llamas as a bear. After grabbing some food, we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park and a ride up Trail Ridge Road. What a beautiful view from up high and a chance to touch the snow! Along the way we saw moose and elk, took a short hike to tour Holzwarth Ranch. We were reminded to slow down and take in the views a bit more, when one of our leaders (not mentioning any names) was stopped for driving too fast (thanks to Ranger Michael Eastman for not issuing a ticket). Saturday night, we had our bonfire and a steak dinner to complete Bonfire #24.
Special thanks to our Veterans and Soldiers that participated on the trip; Jered Whatcott and Taylor Foss for their assistance; and our supports – De Antonio’s, Granby Ranch, Sombrero Ranch at Snow Mountain Ranch and Rudy Perez & Darrell Herk. Without the support of these great people and companies, the Colorado Outdoors Bonfire could not have happened. See all the fun photos here!
"I had to do something extremely hard for myself yesterday at the bonfire that very few of us can understand. But I gained 5 new Brothers that are dealing with the same thing. Thanks to the Warrior Bonfire Program for what they do." Purple Heart Recipient CR Patrick
We encountered a powerful weekend in May that marked our seventh trip of the year. Our present day warriors met face to to face with those that were Medal of Honor recipients and POW's from past wars or conflicts as we were guests of the Commemorative Air Force opening ceremonies of the Trail of Honor in Jackson, Mississippi. This set the tone for the weekend for much discussion on topics that don't always come up at our Bonfires.
The Trail of Honor in Jackson, held every year at the Jim Harley Davidson shop, welcomes the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall and establishes a trail throughout the large wooded area behind the shop into a living history museum of every war and conflict that we have been involved since the War of 1812. The connection, brotherhood and over feeling of being part of something bigger than themselves was more pronounced than on any other day. In addition, this trip included some of their spouses and children which gave them opportunities to share more of who they are with their families.
The immediate connections were remarkable as if the older generation was looking at themselves in a mirror. As it has been explained to us by World War II POW Clarence Earl Derrington that was captured at the Battle of the Bulge, issues and injuries we work on the Warrior Bonfire during our trips are no different than the issues and injuries of his day. The nightmares still occur even at 90 years of age, the frustrations, the guilt, and the sadness of the loss of their buddies in combat are all the same issues the modern day warrior faces today. The group bonding and support is very much needed that the Bonfire provides and 70 years ago this concept was far from being acceptable. That generation was encouraged to suppress not share. Derrington just happened to be unknowingly talking with our very own inspiration of the Warrior Bonfire Program, Greg Williams and stated, "you're 40 years behind, we needed this too." His words not only helped Williams but showed us all at the Bonfire that we are doing what is needed.
After the Trail of Honor our attention turned to two days of 3D Archery Shoot Competition, where our Purple Heart Veterans had fun sharing this time with their family and new friends. Just as last year, this 3D Archery Shoot organized by the Central Mississippi Archery Club and sponsored by Hobies Outdoor Sports, hosted seven Purple Hearts along with six of their children and two spouses. These men and their families got to compete in the two day shoot that consisted of more than twenty targets throughout the majestic woods at Camp Down Range in Clinton.
The event was wrapped up with an Official Flag Retirement Ceremony for all those attending the 3D Archery Shoot in the effort to share a bit of what we do at our trip Bonfires. We stop, we reflect, we honor and we lay to rest the tattered and tired American Flag along with our fallen heroes. When retiring the Flag it should always accompany the process set forth by Congress and with the utmost respect and reverence.
We would like to thank Hobie's and the Central Mississippi Archery Club for all their hard work to put on this fundraising event that doubled from last year and for providing the opportunity for our veterans to participate. We would also like to thank all the companies that supported the event with door prizes that helped to attract competitors.
The Warrior Bonfire Program has officially met the number of trips that we typically do in a full year since we began this organization. This trip found us only five months into 2016 and we have big plans for the rest of the year. That means we serve more and we create more Post Traumatic Growth. See all the photos here.
Drury Outdoors, Obession Bow, LLC, HHA Sports, Inc., HAWK Hunting, Wildlife Research Center, Wac' Em Archery Products LLC, Dead Center Archery Products, Millennium Outdoors, C'Mere Deer & Swhacker, The Crush with Lee and Tiffany, Buck Warrior Enterprises, LLC, Parker Bows, Kjanda, Treelimb Archery Products, Frankie Joseph, Gold Tip Arrows,Grim Reaper Broadheads, Allen Company, Blue Ridge Marketing, Elite Archery, Vapor Trail, Inc., Gart Land Associates, Bowtech Archery, Hunter's Addiction Game Calls, LLC, and Shipley's Donuts.
2016 is finding us stretching our borders to the north. The community at Deep Creek Lake in Garrette County, Maryland opened its arms wide for us in May to share not only the beauty of the lake but all it's fun activities as well. Every venue and restaurant we visited supported us in some capacity on this trip. We could not be more appreciative by their warm welcome.
The Warrior Bonfire Program kicked off the weekend with some energizing fun at the Wisp Resort! Sledding down the mountain at high rates of speeds on the Mountain Coaster sure was an icebreaker before mastering the Spider Challenge Course high above the ground! All the veterans experienced that familiar sense of brotherhood and support behind them to help make these activities fun and safe. The reminders of the brotherhood which they all miss as a community of support, further strengthens their senses to trust others and not be fearful of the unexpected.
After getting their stomachs back in check from the mountain coaster, the group was welcomed on a large scale at Uno Chicago Grill. Not only did we get a lot of attention on the marquee but we got big cheers from the Baltimore Raven Cheerleaders at a meet and greet during their yearly training retreat! Long stop for a photo op! This group loved and soaked up the attention. That afternoon we dodged the rain by grabbing some ice cream before a full buffet dinner, compliments of Dutch’s Restaurant at Silver Tree followed by a leisure pontoon boat ride back to the quarters.
Saturday found us as guest at the Adventure Sports Center to take on some white water rafting. Team building at it’s finest in groups of four navigating the course. Big fun, very we and very cold!
By design all of these activities are arranged with the primary goal of creating greater connections between all of the participants. These connections promote healing and can sometimes serve as a lifeline in the future. Our trips are not all fun and games, extensive talk therapy is strategically conducted at various times throughout the weekend.
"The brotherhood and fellowship is amazing!" USN PO3 Nik Oekerman
For veterans with PTSD it is incredibly important for the brain to consistently be exposed to healthy activities that produce healthy responses. The more their brains experience joy, happiness, peace, trust, and the lack of fear the faster it truly learns how to manage the struggles these men and women face every day. Learning to process fear or talk about fear, in a safe environment, around those that one trusts, is the purpose of the Bonfire. We give the tools and the network to promote Post Traumatic Growth.
"This trip made me feel that humanity is still alive and that there are still people out there that genuinely care about the vets and the people that contributed to our freedoms." One of the trip participants stated that wishes to remain anonymous.
Thank you to all our sponsors for this trip, especially Waltz Center for Oral Surgery & Implantology owner Dr. Robert Waltz, and WBP Board of Directors Member Michael Ginter for hosting us at your homes on Deep Creek Lake, as well as Uno Chicago Grill, Dutch’s Restaurant at Silver Tree, Wisp Resort, Adventure Sports Center, Garrett County Airport, Brenda's Pizzeria and all the private donors of the area. Without you, we could not provide as many trips as we do. Again, thank you for keeping the Bonfires Burning and bringing us up north!
See more photos from the Deep Creek Lake Bonfire - Click Here!
Well the Bonfire made it's way into Alabama, but just barely! Located on the boarder of Mississippi and Alabama folks could see our Purple Hearts darting back and forth, up and down between these two fine states. As guests of the AeroShell Aerobatic Team members, our Purple Heart Veterans got to experience the thrill of traveling roughly 300mph doing barrel rolls, cork screws, bursts and loops! This is a treat known to only a select few in this world and usually only one ride at that! Well not this crew! Each Veteran had several rides in various aircraft. With all the buzz in the air, area pilots that play in this arena began to "Fly In" to see what all the fun was about! Now we understand the true meaning of a "Fly In" Airshow!
The weather on a beautiful April afternoon could not have been more perfect which provided the safest possible environment to give our Purple Hearts this experience. The AeroShell Team are professionals that perform in airshows across the country throughout the year. They are in the International Council of Air Shows Hall of Fame for being the longest running civilian air show in North America for over 20 years. Needless to say, we felt that we couldn't have provided this type of opportunity in a more secure fashion than with this group of professionals.
The Warrior Bonfire Program is careful to only offer this type of opportunity to Veterans that have had a long period of time and healing post their injury. They are mentally and emotionally of sound mind and are not adrenaline seeking junkies. These are warriors that have found the place in their healing, that looking forward to the greatness life has to offer has become their therapy.
Every chance they can get to be around those most like themselves, to divide the pain and share the joy, gives them days to look forward to and not focus on the regrets or unfortunate events of the past which they cannot control. Soaring high above the Earth's surface and sometimes very low, the thrill and the chills, are enormously powerful, and provides a very conscious practice of letting go of things you cannot control. Everyday, Veterans with injuries have to choose to let go of the things they cannot control and focus on what they can control.
Back safely on the ground, this weekend also provided a pristine setting to relax, go fishing and get in a few rounds of clay shooting. The fluid schedule allowed time for the group to simply sit on the porch swing, share their stories, help each other through the struggles they share, and take in the Alabama sunrises and sunsets. Nature and conversations are among the most effective therapeutic practices being used today. As usual the power of the Bonfire on the final night provided closure and healing through the process of honoring those fellow service members these men have lost. Stepping out of yourself, thinking of others and giving to others helps to find peace and joy.
This is a trip that we hope to provide again and we are enormously grateful to the AeroShell Aerobactic Team, Mark Henley, Alan Henley, Jimmy Fordham, Steve Gustafson, Bryan Regan, Gene McNeely and their support team for a top flight weekend. We literally could not have done this without you! "It was a blast being with the guys this past weekend. I think they really enjoyed the experience. Hope we will be able to do it again in the future," stated Fordham. These weekends end up being just as therapeutic for the hosts as well as the Veterans.
To see more of the fun, check out our photos!