From Sports and Recreation for Post-9/11 Veterans to Transitioning Workshops for Military Families
ONF Kicked-Off with Outdoor Retreats that Redefined the Perception of the Possible!
The first ONF outdoor retreat in January 2011 was titled, Sports, Afield & Stream (S.A.S.). It used adaptive sports, hunting, fishing and exploration of wilderness to help empower veterans after injury. Veterans have experienced epic moments and tranquil times along with their caregivers, family members and other veterans. Another successful S.A.S. retreat concluded in July 2012.
Nearly 100 veterans and caregivers were flown to Big Sky Resort just outside of Bozeman, Montana for each S.A.S. retreat. ONF funded transportation, accommodations, food, entertainment and all other expenses. Many supports helped make it happen!
Past S.A.S. retreat activities and trip give-a ways included wilderness adventures, fishing trips, Montana big game hunts, cattle ranch vacations, hot air ballooning, dog mushing, ice climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain horseback riding, Yellowstone llama treks, Yellowstone National Park snowcoaching, Ziplining, mountaineering, golfing, hunting clinics, fly fishing lessons and more!
ONF Outdoor Retreats Demanded More Transition Workshops
Since ONF has put on outdoor S.A.S. retreats there has been a greater demand for PTSD workshops and to include entire families to participate in the events. ONF veteran transition workshops were then developed dividing time between classroom and outdoor recreation, in addition to relaxing activities and family attractions. These programs are still FREE for veterans and their caregivers or families who struggle with invisible wounds impacting their daily lives. Capacities are limited! Destinations and schedules vary each year depending on the amount of funding and number of volunteers. Veterans and/or caregivers can apply for future WORKSHOPS.
Veteran and Caregiver guests tried out skijoring during our transition workshop in Montana, January 2017:
Past Outdoor Retreats:
Future retreat dates and locations to be determined.
Outdoor Retreat Application and Policy
APPLY FOR FUTURE EVENTS: ONF’s retreat model for next year is focusing on PTSD workshops (that include recreational activities). Should ONF become funded specifically for a hunts, fishing trips, back country trips or extreme sports, there is no obligation in filling out an application for potential future events. Each veteran or caregiver needs to use the application process before being approved. ONF will then contact the applicant for more information. Veterans and caregivers are welcome to fill out an application for PTSD workshops, SEE MORE!
RETREATS ARE FREE for OEF/OIF men and women veterans who have been physically and/or invisibly injured with life-altering conditions. They need not be Purple Heart recipients to attend. It is also FREE for one caregiver or family member to attend with an approved veteran — Additional family members (beyond 2) are welcome however they may need to pay for their own expenses. If airline tickets are purchased by ONF and not used, the veteran or caregiver is obligated to reimburse ONF for the ticket if cancelled within 30 days.
If trip give-a-ways are offered to veterans, only one caregiver, spouse or family member can accompany the veteran free of charge. ONF events are drug and alcohol free!
Support Extreme WWA Mountaineering
In addition to rock climbing lessons and mountaineering adventures in the Rockies through various retreats, ONF has been a supporter for injured vets reaching the tallest summits throughout the world. A former ONF warrior speaker and veteran mentor, Marc Hoffmeister, founded Wounded Warrior Ascents (WWA) and Operation Denali. See more about Marc featured on National Geographic.
Contact Marc to support the injured veteran that Marc takes on his climbs that symbolize the strength of our Nation and those who defend it!
Warrior Recognition by Celebrities
Celebrities have paid tribute to ONF’s warrior guests during retreats and banquets. Lee Greenwood attended the first winter S.A.S. retreat in 2011 and continued as ONF’s national spokesman for 7 years.
Other celebrities showed recognition to our veteran guests by sending personal video clip messages and autographed merchandise. Some of the celebrities who expressed their gratitude and welcomed warrior guests to Montana retreats included Tom Brokaw, J.R. Martinez, John Elway, Taylor Swift, Randy Couture, Dennis Miller, R. Lee Ermey, Ted Nugent, Denzel Washington, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, Larry the Cable Guy, Minnesota Twins Catcher Joe Mauer, Couture Xtreme UFC Fighters, Sarah Palin, Aaron Tippin, PGA Tour golf pro Steve Stricker and the Montana Senators. See more about ONF PUBLIC BENEFITS.
Support the Opportunities for Physically Dis”Abled” and Invisibly Wounded Veterans
According to the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), over 52,000 brave warriors have been wounded in action during the “War on Terror.” There are over 500,000 veterans with invisible wounds. Over 970,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have disability claims with the VA. Common combat injuries have included amputations, second and third degree burns, broken bones, shrapnel wounds, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, paralysis, toxic exposure, loss of sight and hearing.
Veterans were highly trained athletes when going to war… they need outdoor activities when back at home despite missing limbs, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other physical or invisible injuries. New recreational opportunities and exploration can help lead injured warriors to positive lifetime changes. PTSD workshops can help save lives! None of this happens without your support! Donate now!