Healing Patriots kicked off their 2018 expedition season by taking five injured heroes to Sunrise Resort in Presque Isle, Wisconsin from May 12-16. Of the five guests, two were first responders (Firefighter and Police Officer) and three Veterans (2 Vietnam War and 1 Korean War). Our mission was to provide a unique environment to our heroes to take a break from the day to day struggles of life, enjoy the peacefulness of the lake, and fishing with fellow Veterans and first responders. During the events of the week, our heroes learned about new resources and how it can assist in the path to healing.

The Resort

Healing Patriots Staff and Guides (all volunteer) brought our heroes to Sunrise Resort located in Presque Isle. A beautiful, scenic, and quiet atmosphere with fully furnished cabins, a main house, and a clubhouse with full accommodations.

Opening Ceremony

The American Legion Winegar Post 480 and the Legion Riders of District 11 helped host a special evening of honoring our nation’s heroes.The American Legion Riders escorted all members of the Healing Patriots delegation from Sunrise Resort to the Presque Isle Veterans Memorial and then to Winegar Post 480 for the Healing Patriots welcome dinner and opening ceremony. A special dinner was provided by Post 480 and local businesses and volunteers who wanted to be a part of honoring our heroes. During the opening ceremony, each guest was presented with a H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Patriots Endure) package containing many donated fishing tackle, tackle bags, rain suits from Striker Ice, and a personalized fishing rod from 13 Fishing.

Fishing Therapy

Each guest was paired with a Healing Patriots staff and volunteer fishing guide to assist them with anything they would need during their expedition experience. They worked as a team throughout the trip and shared stories of their time in service to further build their new friendship with each other. A unique feature to Healing Patriots, a licensed counselor will be at every expedition to work with our heroes should the time arise for additional assistance. The ability to sit and visit in a non-clinical environment reduces the stress for our heroes and allows for a free flow of conversation to work on making progress and developing new ways to begin healing.

An Upcoming Episode of American Heroes Outdoor T.V.

Healing Patriots was honored to have a unique opportunity during the HPX1 experience.  The American Heroes Outdoor T.V. crew was embedded with everyone during the expedition to capture the stories of our heroes and with members of the Healing Patriots team.  A combination of fishing and interviews with these heroes were captured on the boat and around the campsite. Be sure to be on the lookout in April or May 2019 for the Healing Patriots episode on American Heroes Outdoor T.V.

“They (Healing Patriots) provided an environment free from condemnation and were able to answer questions I have had for years.  After the trip, they have taken what they have learned about me and my family’s needs and have started to help find the needed resources.  I have found that Healing Patriots isn’t about a fishing trip, it’s about taking care of responders and veterans that need healing”. ~ Geremy Olson

I Have Waited 13 Years for this Trip!!

One of our guests, Geremy Olson, a volunteer firefighter living in Washburn, ND, sustained injuries while on the job fighting a wildfire 13 years ago. He had been waiting for this expedition opportunity since he began recovering from his injuries.  Without knowing ahead of time the true value of what he would experience, he was able to connect with other injured servicemen and women, and began to open up about his experience and how things had been up to this point in his life. Throughout this time, he could never fully get the answers he was seeking from other professionals about WHY he sustained the injuries he did, or get to the right resources to help him get to a better place. Geremy blogged about his Healing Patriots experience which has now given him a better understanding about how this expedition has helped change his life for the better.  He now knows he will be checked on by his fellow brothers and will have better resources to utilize to help him get to a better place to start healing.

The Camaraderie Created from HPX1

Our five heroes came from three different states (North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) and none of them knew everyone at the beginning of this expedition, however, it didn’t take long for them to bond and create new friendships with each other as brothers. All of them began to open up about their own personal experiences and for some, they had never really discussed openly about their time in service. They quickly realized that they were not alone and it didn’t matter how they got to this point in life, but more importantly, they realized that they were all blessed to be together and to support one another.

Each evening, everyone gathered together to share a meal over an open fire and to visit, share stories, tell jokes, and get to know each other a little better. The fish were biting better from shore, so many of the staff and heroes took full advantage of this opportunity.

Going Home…

At the end of the expedition, everyone felt grateful for new friends and the opportunity to be a part of the Healing Patriots family.  Most importantly, a sense of hope and new found trust with new friends was developed with hopes for spending more time together in the future. Our Healing Patriots team will be checking in with each of our heroes on a consistent basis and will continue to provide support regularly.

A New Beginning

Those who suffer from service related injuries and are in need to find the right resources to get start “A New Beginning” can experience a Healing Patriots expedition.  If you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity like this, you can apply today! Healing Patriots staff members will contact you about the future trip opportunities if you are eligible. Please help us share our mission with your family and friends!!!
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