Healing America’s Heroes (HAH) has successfully hosted 32 male veterans and 36 female veterans through our 5-day sessions in Chama since 2015 with overwhelming positive feedback from participants and testimonials from those who described how the skills they had learned in the HAH session helped them heal, re-establish relationships, control anger through self-calming, and restore confidence. Participants included veterans from Rio Arriba, Taos, Espanola, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and several Native American tribes in this area. A number of participants also have returned as volunteers to help and support participants in the following years.
The innovative approach HAH has been using to enhance healing and make adaptive sports, recreational equine/piscatorial therapies more readily accessible to meet the needs of underserved veterans has been recognized in 2015 by the Espanola Small Business Development Center, and HAH was awarded the “Most Inspiring Small Business of the Year”. In August 2018, HAH received the “Small Business of the Month” award from the Chama Valley Chamber of Commerce; and In January 2019, HAH received the honor of the Director’s Choice for the Los Alamos Community Asset Awards for its contribution of enhancing the wellbeing of the community.
During the 2018 HAH sessions, several participants recommended that HAH starts to conduct 3-day sessions over the weekend (Friday to Sunday) to benefit those veterans with disabilities but work during the week. Additionally, HAH staff has received requests to conduct the same sessions for law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, and first responders who are suffering from similar disabilities. HAH is working to add these sessions in the near future.