When Debbi Fisher of Yelm, Washington lost her husband, Colonel Randall Fisher, in a car accident, she turned her grief into giving back to the community. Colonel Fisher's horse, Rootbeer, needed a job, and when Debbi realized that there were wounded service members at Joint-Base Lewis-McChord who could benefit from equine therapy, she tapped into her own savings and established a program for them. Debbi, now remarried, runs Rainier Therapeutic Riding's Horses Healing Heroes program with her second husband, Bob Woelk. They use their own horses, time, and resources, along with a showing of volunteers, to teach horsemanship and riding skills to injured and wounded military personnel. The soldiers and airmen may have physical or psychological injuries or both. Regardless, they learn new skills, build their confidence, and gain their strength through a unique program that taps into powerful assets: their own abilities and will. While Debbi and Bob only perceive themselves as facilitators, they are regarded as angels to the many service members that they have helped. I should know, as I was one of those service members. I now volunteer with the program too and admire the many miracles I see taking place through this wonderful charity. Debbi and Bob have opened up their hearts and home to the community, both soldiers and civilians, to bring them together and make it all happen.
Horses healing Heroes: A Unique Approach
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