Guest Blog: Vets Rehabilitate in the Great Outdoors

By: Sandra Budak
Executive Director
Honoring Our Veterans

Honoring Our Veterans is committed to helping our nation’s veterans heal. We are very fortunate to have the Disabled Veterans National Foundation partner with us in t20150618_081152his endeavor. We truly believe we are making a difference in these warriors’ lives.

This June, seven combat wounded veterans from across the country enjoyed water sports recreation in stunning Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Without the Foundation’s generous support, we would not be able to offer these rehabilitative therapy programs.

With beautiful lakes at the base of the spectacular Teton Range and a nationally designated scenic river, Jackson Hole is the ideal location for water sports recreation. The activities we offer wounded veterans during this session strengthen physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. We offer these programs to wounded veterans at no charge; airfare, transportation, lodging, activities, equipment and meals are all paid for with the help of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.

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We were fortunate enough to witness first-hand just how impactful our recreational therapy can be. For one of our participants, the session marked the first time in ten years that he had left his room for something other than a medical appointment. Since returning home, we are overjoyed to hear that he is starting to get outside again, spending the Fourth of July with friends.

Here is what some of our wounded veteran participants have to say:

“Not once since I have been here have I thought about suicide.” 

“I was comfortable for the first time in years.” 

“I was able to express my feelings without being ashamed of myself.” 

“I was able to feel normal and to actually laugh and feel happy again.” 

“Coming out here to Jackson Hole, Wyoming is an experience I will never forget. After spending 31 years wearing a military uniform, I now understand what I was fighting for. What HOV has put together in what I have come to call “God’s Country” is absolutely spectacular.” 20150623_114929

“I found something that I could say I “Love” once again.” 

“I had good sound sleep that I haven’t had in ten years.” 

Thanks again, Disabled Veterans National Foundation, for making our programs possible!