I got the email about the Gala for Saratoga Warhorse’ Gala. As you know by now if you’ve been reading my posts, equine therapy is a great way used to help veterans to heal. Like Project Healing Waters, Saratoga Warhorse is not affiliated with the VA but doctors from the VA do highly recommend them. I always like to share the song that I wrote for Warhorse “Hero Look me in the Eyes”.
I was introduced to Saratoga Warhorse one night by watching an ABC News Special about them. The special brought me to tears and I told myself that I wished I could have an opportunity like that. I did a search for the foundation, found their website and sent them a contact email explaining my situation. The next night, Bob Nevins (Founder of Warhorse and Vietnam Veteran) called me from his cell phone and invited me to attend.
I told him I wanted to get in as soon as possible and he told me that they only run small groups of about 5 vets through the program one three-day weekend per month. That is so each veteran gets the full experience with the horses and the people involved with the program. He said that they were book for several months unless I was willing to jump in last minute and go that weekend. They still had an opening or someone had cancelled. I jumped at the chance and said yes (before I even explained to my wife what the program was) and within the same week of wishing I could go, I was there.
As you can see the experience really affected me or I wouldn’t be writing this post. I don’t know that the one day with the horse changed my life forever, but the people their will definitely be in my heart that long.
This is a truly legitimate cause. I know by fact that a lot of the big veteran support groups out there that you see advertising on television with celebrities are more about paychecks for themselves and sadly less about the veteran.
You may be like me and cannot afford to go to the Gala or live too far away to attend, but even small donations would help them out. When this group takes a veteran in, they pay for airline tickets, nice hotel rooms, food and of course the experience. Those who had a later flight out the next day, or drove as I did, got a tour of Saratoga, watch horses run the practice track and meet and talk to the horse owners (who are also some of the biggest donors). It is expensive for them to do! I do what I can to help and that is writing thank you cards to donors for them. They told me that I could just write a general letter to use for everyone, but I hand wrote every card. Some donors appreciated me sharing my experience with them so much that they called Warhorse and told them that they’d be continuous sponsors. One even copied the card and sent it to Warhorse staff to show them why they liked it so much. It was like a thank you for a thank you.
So if you are able to go to the Gala they’d appreciate your company and support. But, if you are willing and able to help them in any way with just a small donation, in addition to other small donors it would go a long way to help veterans with PTSD.