2016 has been an incredible year for rebuilding, refitting and retooling Save A Warrior™ . From transitioning to a more Warrior-led conversation, to welcoming new Warriors to the Project, as well as welcoming back “old friends”, 2016 has shown us what more is possible as we turn the page and launch into what will prove to be an unforgettable 2017.

Cohort 040 - The December to Remember

Cohort 040 - The December to Remember

Over the past year, “SAW” conducted eleven (11) Cohorts (030 – 040), serving and supporting more than 150 active duty Warriors, returning Veterans and First Responders. Our operational year culminated with Cohort 040 (Malibu) and was – as promised – a “December to Remember”; an experience that will resonate for all involved for some time to come. Resources were such that we even managed to sponsor a female Alumni event with our good friend Clara Te Velthuis that was equine-focused and great healing was experienced by all. We thank Brian Hagerty and all the Shepherds for making all of our enrollments, registrations and operations possible. Those “in the seats” on Sunday afternoons in Malibu and Lexington are the lifeblood of SAW, the reason so many of us find purpose and meaning in our lives.

None of what happened could have been possible without the efforts of Teresa Rivera, SAW’s Director for Marketing and Business Development. This year, Teresa was key to securing a three-year grant that will help sustain our efforts to serve our Warriors. Over the life of this grant, SAW will touch 300 more lives of those whom we seek to serve and support. Additionally, more than two dozen new and legacy events held on the behalf of SAW occurred all around the country and Teresa made sure they all ran smoothly. We take a moment to thank each and every Shepherd who took time away from their own lives to appear at these events and share their experience, strength and hope. You’ll never know the difference you made in the lives of those who attended and supported these events – so that others may live.        

Lastly, over the next 180 days, members of an ad hoc exploratory committee will seek to solidify plans to secure a retreat and conference center here in Central Ohio that will one day be known as Warrior Village. Yes, this dream of ours since Day One is finally upon us and coming to pass. I can hardly wait to share more with all of you as details become available. Make your bed, meditate, give thanks, lend a hand, come back and Shepherd a SAW Cohort. Most importantly, friends… LIVE!!!   

Paying it forward,

Raychad Vannatta

Executive Director / Chief of Programs

Save A Warrior