Stronger Standing Together
Partnering with other Veteran Care Organizations just makes sense! Each entity bringing their resources to the table stretches the hard earned dollars that our donors and sponsors have given us, much further. When the other organization we are working with makes the statement that "it's all about the Veterans," we know we have a partner we can trust. Over the years there have been many, but there are a few that work with us on an ongoing basis.
Veterans Airlift Command
Sometimes we need help getting our members from far away places to an event. They have created a small army of private pilots across the nation who donate their time, fuel and planes to transport wounded veterans, who experience difficultly flying commercial, to various events. Mostly the service is used for medical care and therapeutic needs. We are grateful for their service and commitment to our wounded Veteran community.
Southern Heritage Air Foundation
AKA SHAF provides us a home base so to speak, located near Vicksburg, Mississippi where we were founded, this museum which keeps war birds flying and personal historic accounts of local WWII Veterans alive offers us storage and office space, provides amazing flights for our Purple Hearts in their T6 and P51, provides air transportation and raises funds for us every other year at their air show The Best Little Airshow in the World. They also help man many of our booths in the area as well as offer staff support at some of largest fundraisers with their awesome volunteers. Our unending thanks goes out to SHAF.
San Diego, California based organization that offers local veterans the opportunities to scuba dive, surf, fly, and build off road vehicles for competitive purposes also co-hosts an annual bonfire event on the beaches of Oceanside, California in September. This event offers us the opportunity to take individuals that rarely or never have been to California to camp on the beach, attend the airshow at Miramar and get lessons to surf the waves. In turn we have introduced WP to our network of organizational support and has grown to be an awesome partnership.
Whitetail Warrior Project, Inc.
This Alabama based group co-hosts us every year at Water Valley Lodge in Gilbertown, AL to put on a top notch deer hunt as one of our Bonfire events. During this venture they meet new members offering them the ability to build their network and reach while helping us to provide our service and offerings to our current member roles. Thankful for their support of service.
The Ranch Ministries
What a powerful organization this is as they serve military veterans in a variety of ways but always through the power of God. Each year The Ranch Ministries team hosts the WBP and our members that are confined to wheelchairs and they have worked to develop their property to break barriers that keep these Veterans from being truly in the hunt. Four years in a row we have been able offer a tremendous Pheasant Hunt and starting in 2019 we introduce Cajun Rodeo, which offers some fun in go carts, the shooting range, fishing and to experience a close up view of what Rodeo school looks like! The Cajun part now pulls in Wounded War Heroes of Louisiana who will provide the craw-fish!
10 Can Outdoors
Florida based organization that provides various programs for wounded veterans and first responders through retreats and classes that aim to empower these brave individuals and reintegrate them back into society with purpose. Their strong focus on post-traumatic growth, family unity and healing moral wounds through faith and family, makes them a perfect fit with our organization. In 2019 we will implement our first event with 10 Can Outdoors as they co-host and navigate our members in kayaks and canoes along the Suwanee River in north Florida.
REAch, Inc. Wounded Veterans Program
Resources Exchange Program has allowed us to introduce to our new and existing Purple Heart members with a toolbox full of new tools, shipped directly to their door, valued at $400 and zero expense to the veteran. Our collaboration centers around the mindset that we are both providing tools for the betterment of the veterans lives. Since 2018 over 100 toolboxes have been shipped to our members! For WBP this is a wonderful way that we can impact their lives immediately upon registering with us while they wait for a retreat event. For REAch, they are serving more which keeps their product only donors from Morgan Stanely and DeWalt engaged and encouraged to give back to those that served.
All of these organization supports our collective overall goals to effect change in the lives of our Purple Heart Veteran in three core areas...
-Live Life Free of Guilt
-Build Better Relationships
-Participate in Community
We are Stronger Standing Together!
To learn more or to donate visit us at warriorbonfireprogram.org
“Keep moving forward, keep moving forward” is the mantra for many of our Veterans who are experiencing the loss and reminders of their fallen brothers and sisters. Daily they search to find ways to fill the void of the empty chair all while managing the burden of reasoning and understanding of the outcomes of those horrific fateful days when they watched their friend die before their eyes. “Could I have done something different? Why him and not me? Man, I miss his jokes, he was the funniest guy I’ve ever known.” These are comments that we have heard often at the bonfire from Veterans struggling to make sense of it all.
Now we find ourselves facing a different spin, post combat days. For a good many of our Veterans, acceptance can be made of the loss of life during times of war and combat, but what doesn’t make sense to these combat veterans is the continued loss of life at home, on safer soil, due to suicide. We are finding more and more, that we encounter Veterans dealing with multiple brothers and sisters taking their own lives in recent years which creates a new need for the type of therapy we offer at Warrior Bonfire Program.
At each of our Signature Bonfires where we formally retire the American Flag we honor those fallen service members who died in (or shortly after) battle alongside the Purple Hearts attending our event, but more and more often we are hearing the names of those who lost the battle post battle. For warriors who live by “no man left behind” losing a buddy in this way eats at their protective nature creating a mindset of failing their brothers in some way.
At the Warrior Bonfire Program we don’t replace those buddies but we do fill the void. We are a network of brothers and sisters that are here when needed and when we are not needed. We offer peer to peer support as we understand and we will keep you strong. Learn more at warriorbonfireprogram.org
Encouraging our members to be the best version of themselves!
-Live Life Free of Guilt
-Build Better Relationships
-Participate in Community
“It seems I was just walking through life one day at a time missing the rush of life I use to have before I was injured. It felt so good to be around veterans who have been there and have moved to something better." This is a quote from Purple Heart Stephen Blair who attended our recent Pig Hunt Bonfire in Warren, Texas all the way from Alaska!
It’s hard for many to understand how attending a trip with people you don’t know, to hunt wild animals, could be therapeutic. Especially a hunt such as this one where they literally chase down and stick wild pigs, pigs that are greatly damaging property, preying on other animals all over Texas and are repopulating too quickly to control. Now not all our Veterans enjoy this which is why we offer all sorts of various activities, but for those that do, here’s how it goes.
Each of our attending Veterans are paired with a team of professional guides, they plan their mission, which direction to go, who on the team performs which duties and always cover the safety briefings with the reminder to be watching out for each other, having their backs. What does this sound like? The military missions performed by our Combat Veterans and the chance to once again revisit and experience that internal charge that is missing in their daily lives. In our seven years of operations, we have not heard once that any of our Veterans regret serving their country and almost all of them say they would do it again in a heartbeat. Also, remember, many of our members injuries began their process of discharge, changing their course of life and purpose forever.
Stephen was skeptical about traveling with the Warrior Bonfire or any other organization but this event he says helped to pull him out of slump he’s been in since he retired after 38 years of service. “It brought back the camaraderie and brotherhood I’ve been missing since I got out, made me feel part of something I use to have in the Army but lost once it was over. It felt good to be part of something again.” As Stephen traveled back home to Alaska he realized the awesome feeling and change of attitude he had and looked forward to his family’s reaction as well. "Thank you again from the bottom of my heart I truly appreciate it as well as my family will appreciate the change I feel!”
Thank you to all the great Americans in Southeast Texas that helped us to put on this event! Our hosts at Triple D Ranch Event Center in Warren, TX Judy and Cody Lewis, land owner Cody Stewart & guide teams, event organizers Justin Lewis and Stephen Maxwell, the cooking team of Victor Catalanotto, Wes Broussard, Kyle Lee, Byron Hlavinka, Kelby Bradley, Clyde Sory, and Coy Sewell, and the numerous other volunteers that made this operation run incredibly smooth!
Click HERE to see more photos!
WBP Team writers
Blogs are written by staff members of the Warrior Bonfire Program along with guest writers.