The Wisconsin VFW and auxiliary have a joint project again this year to raise funds to help our veterans- but it's not all work.
We have decided that we want to horse around this year. This year's joint project is to help three equine veteran therapy ranches in the state of Wisconsin.
These facilities are committed to assisting our veterans with the help of some of their wonderful four-legged therapists.
The funds we raise will be split between these three centers, and they are excited for the opportunity to put these funds to great use, helping more veterans and upgrading their facilities.
The first Ranch we want to help this year is the Trinity Equestrian Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin trauma PTSD, and horses.
Trinity has a free Equine-assisted Therapy Program for veterans and their families. Service-related injuries generally fall into three different categories; physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Most veterans don't want to talk about their traumatic service experiences, and that's just fine because most of the work done at Trinity is non-verbal and relationship based.
It's a journey of creating connections, relationships, and trust - once that's mastered between the veteran and their horse, it spills over to the other important relationships in their life. Step by step, week after week, the relationship grows and deepens, giving the vet new skills and confidence that things can and will get better.
Our donations will go toward building a very important new Arena to replace an aging one.
Our second equine Ranch is Stable hands in Wausau, Wisconsin. Their veteran's program is called Fast Veteran-assisted Sports training program.
The stable hands FAST program is a free work-at-your-own-pace program for military veterans. it offers horse-based activities to enhance the recovery from physical, emotional, social, and mental struggles that veterans May face in their civilian life.
Our donations will go toward building a new horse barn to keep the four-legged therapists healthy and happy for their program.
Last but not least is Horsepower Healing Center in Eagle, Wisconsin. The Horses for Heroes program at Horsepower Healing Center is held on 114-acre family-owned farm offering a safe and peaceful environment for veterans to bond with their fellow veterans, volunteers, and horses in a non-judgmental way.
HPHC believes that each veteran has more than paid their dues through their service in the military and offers the Horses for Heroes group programs free of charge.
Donations for Horsepower will go toward building an indoor arena. Right now, they only have an outdoor Arena, and therefore they cannot run their programs during the cold months from November to April each year.
I think the gift of an Equine Therapy process would be just the enjoyment and pleasure of being with a creature who is so strong, registers the energy that you have, and can help you calm down with the intensity of a daily activity.
Mostly it's just a chance to get away from daily life, the pressures, and just being grounded whether you ride them, walk them, groom them; it's just an absolute pleasure.
Think of how many veterans can be helped with bigger, better facilities available around the state for veterans to work with their horses.
Of course, as is tradition with our joint VFW and auxiliary projects, we want to make it a horse race, and the auxiliary wants to win again.
Oh no the VFW is going to pull out ahead in this horse race and bring in the most donations.
and we're off....
VFW posts can send their donation checks to the state VFW headquarters and put joint project in the memo line and the auxiliaries can send their donation checks to our state treasurer Lennar Otto also with joint project noted in the memo line.
But remember, while we all love a good horse race, the true winners will be the veterans and that's better than winning the Triple Crown any day.