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Honoring Our Veterans

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: Honoring our veterans is an educational and public benefit corporation formed to assist wounded and disabled military veterans, and to engage in any activities that honor all american veterans, living or dead. The educational and public benefit purposes of the corporation include: educating the public on the needs of wounded and disabled veterans; organizing citizen volunteers to help meet and administer those needs through therepeutic activities including recreational therapy; working with oher charities involved with therapeutic activities in order to directly assist wounded and disabled veterans with activites such as horseback riding, national park tours, fishing trips and flytying, educating wounded veterans themselves on life skills that will aid in the transition from military careers and war trama to civilian life; and building citizen networks to participate in providing free recreational therapeutic activities for wounded and disabled veterans.

Programs: Fly casting and fly tying instruction & fly fishing trips. The fly fishing therapy session is all about fly fishing with fly casting instruction, a fly tying class and workshop, education on good river stewardship and the etymology of our region, and fly fishing trips on the beautiful waters of jackson hole. A fly tying demonstration and class were provided to the veterans at a local fly shop. Two different fly fishing trips were arranged. Both occured on the snake river - one was conducted in the bridger teton national forest and the other in grand teton national park. The veterans had their own fly fishing guide and received fly fishing instruction on each trip, along with information on the flora and fauna of the area. A large network of professional guides and volunteers were mobilized in order to make these trips happen. The guides, and fly tying and fly casting instructors donated their time. River shuttle fees were paid in order to get the vehicles from the "put in" location to the "take out" location down the river. Fishing licenses and gear also needed to be purchased. Fly fishing, fly tying and fly casting all involve concentration and motor skills, therefore these activities are ideal to use in improving both the physical and cognative functioning in disabled veterans. Several disabled veterans enjoyed all the activities.

hunting sessions. The elk and antelope hunt therapy sessions are made possible through the use of wyoming statute 32-1-705(k), which authorizes the holder of any valid big game license to surrender said license to the department for reissuance to a veteran with disabilities, as established by the commission rules and regulations, selected and sponsored by a nonprofit charitable organization providing hunting opportunities for disabled veterans. We are very fortunate to have land owners and locals who wish to donate their elk and antelope hunting tags to our disabled veterans. The veterans spent a day at the jackson hole gun club with volunteer instructors to sight in and get comfortable with the guns they were using. The veterans also participated in an archery workshop and presentation held at the snake river sporting club. We have a team of experienced guides and outfitters who give their time freely and provide our wounded veterans with memories of a lifetime.

water sports therapy - paddling instruction and whitewater rafting instruction. The water sports therapy session focuses on paddling sports with lake paddling and river rafter instruction. The session also includes a western heritage day that teaches ranching skills such as calf branding, horsemanship, rope skills, and time spent behind the chutes at the jackson hole rodeo. Each session also includes horseback riding with the jackson hole therapeutic riding assocaition. Therapeutic horseback riding. The jackson hole therapeutic riding association specializes in healing with horses. All horses used for the therapy have gone through rigorous training and exhibit the personality traits necessary in order to be a valuable therapeutic animal. Therapeutic horseback riding strengthens the rider's core, improves balance, builds confidence and trust, and gives the disabled veterans a chance to be mobile beyond what their physical injury allows. A trail ride was arranged for several disabled veterans. We first went through a process where each horse was carefully selected to match the veteran's disability. Before the veterans arrived in jackson hole, the va therapist filled out a rider information form that detailed exactly what each veteran's disabilities were, range of motion, etc. A riding block and staff to assist were available on the day of the ride. Each veteran had a therapeutic riding staff member along side them for the entire ride. Three different paddling instructional trips were arranged. One occurred on string lake in grand teton national park, and two were conducted on the snake river in the bridger-teton national forest. Individual instruction was given by guides to each veteran on how to paddle and maneuver the boat safely and effectively. Each veteran also had a guide as a paddling buddy alongside at all times. A large network of professional guides and volunteers were mobilized in order to make these trips happen. The guides donated their time and equipment for two of the paddling sessions, and we paid a greatly reduced fee for the third paddling session.

educational tourall four sessions this year included an educational tour of grand teton and yellowstone national parks. Transporation for these tours were donated, and the guides donated their time. In grand teton national park, experienced park personnel act as guide and educator. Meet & greet and the hale & farewell. Both of these events were designed to encourage interaction between the disabled veterans and community members from jackson hole. Some community members spoke to the disabled veterans about how their own prior military service helped them become successful. Some gave pointers on how to go about applying for jobs in the national park service and other career fields. These community interaction opportunities are disigned to help disabled veterans reintigrate into civilian life by having them mingle with people from all different walks of life in a non-threatening and friendly atmosphere. Remembering their sacrifice (2012)mike ehredt, a retired postal clerk and army veteran, ran from international falls ,mn on the canadian border to galveston, tx to honor those us soldiers and marines who had died in afghanistan. Mike placed 2,140 flags that hold a yellow ribbon bearing the name, rank, service, age and hometown of those who had made such huge scrifices on our behalf. The flags were placed each mile along the roads he traveled in reverse chronological order by date of death, till the very last flag he planted in galveston, texas. This tribute is a silent memorial for those who have served with dignity and honor and whose sacrifice will never be forgotten. We provided some financial support to assist in the creation of a documentary of this memorable event.

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