Sunday, May 27, 2012

Higher Ground

I had the opportunity to host a radio show last week with Bert Gillette, Veterans Outreach Coordinator from Higher Ground, as my special guest.  Higher Ground offered my husband his first opportunity to try a new adventure following his injury.  Sean traveled with my step-father to Sun Valley, Idaho for a week of fly fishing and male bonding surrounded by breathtaking mountain views.  Somewhere in those sparkling waters Sean found peace within himself and learned that he could be independent, confident, and enjoy his life.  He has since gone on to pursue other athletic camps and activities and encourages peers to get involved and participate in their lives again.  

 Higher Ground hosts week-long retreats for couples or singles, and each veteran may invite a spouse, significant other, close friend, or family member to attend as a support person.  Costs for both participants are fully covered by Higher Ground. Veterans have time to bond over their struggles, frustrations, and successes while significant others have the opportunity to share their challenges as caregivers. 

Camps offered include: 

Snow Sports (skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding)
Water Sports (water skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing)
River Adventure (rafting, camping)
Fly Fishing

Each year more than 60 wounded veterans and their partners have the opportunity to learn physical skills, coping strategies, and confidence that will allow them to more fully integrate into their communities and interact with their families.   The camps at Higher Ground lead veterans to healing and confidence through sports and the great outdoors. 

Veterans are offered follow-up support for three years after they attend camp.  The staff at Higher Ground assists veterans with reintegration into their lives by providing ongoing support,
assistance, and resources.

Submitted by Melissa Johnson, FOV Volunteer Coordinator

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