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                                      2023 Veterans' Programs 

Eagle for Veterans Page on Website.jpg

Are you looking for a challenging and fun program:

  1. Where you can bond with fellow veterans?

  2. Reconnect with nature?

  3. Learn Native American culture that is relevant to veterans?

  4. Where you can observe large mammals & raptors in their natural habitat ?

  5. Experience the benefits of a small group?

  6. Allow yourself to be stretched in a positive & meaningful way?

  7. Where you appreciate the natural wonders in the GYE?                                          Check us out below:

Summary of  Will's Hope (WH) Veterans' Program  - Veterans have many strengths & capabilities that can be overlooked by society.  This can lead some veterans to under appreciate their value to society.  Will's Hope (WH) is an opportunity to help veterans frame their life experiences & see their situation in a positive manner while helping energize them for the future. WH is an outdoor educational, growth & self-healing opportunity for veterans using the outdoors, nature and Native Americans as self-discovery and self-enabling mechanisms. This program is specifically tailored for veterans & presented commensurate with the abilities of the veterans. Programs take place in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

                                                                      2023 Programs (dates subject to change)

  28 Feb 2023 - Applications Due (less medical)

  18 Mar 2023 - Orientation (medical & remaining documents due)

  22 May - 3 June 2023 - Veteran Women 

   

  13 June - 25 June 2023 - Veteran Men 

  9 November 2023 - Annual Will's Hope Dinner

   

   Fee for 1st time attending veterans is $400 (of this at least $200 

   must be paid by the veteran). 

     

   Fee for returning veterans is $800 (of this at least $200 

   must be paid by the veteran).

      More info:  See documents below or call Mark Squire 719-210-5625

             

Will's Hope is recruiting 5-6 Veterans for each program.  This immersion program is an opportunity of a lifetime and will offer Veterans many benefits:

  • Learning about a diverse natural world from World Class instructors,

  • Experiencing Native American cultural & historical knowledge that is relevant to veterans,

  • Realizing that veterans' unique experiences are strengths,

  • Observing large mammal wildlife in their native habitat,

  • Comradery and Bonding with other veterans,

  • Solitude in one of the most beautiful areas in the world,

  • Participating in many other outdoor oriented activities,

  • Learning in an engaging environment that significantly less than 1% of visitors to the Yellowstone region ever have an opportunity to experience. 

  • In summary, the program will provide multiple opportunities for each veteran to take advantage of.  It is up to the veteran to use the opportunity to help them, in a way that the veteran chooses, on their individual journey. 

                             Process for Veterans Interested in Attending Will's Hope

For 2023, we have revised the recruitment process for veteran programs.  This will improve the experience for veteran participants.  The process is as follows:

  •  Contact Will's Hope and let us know of your interest as soon as possible.  To assist you please review the documents at the bottom of the page and look through the veteran photos/videos for 2022 and 2021 so you have a good idea of what's involved and what the requirements are for participating in Will's Hope.   To see the 2022 & 2021 photos please hover the cursor over the Veterans tab at the bottom of this page.  Point of contact is Mark Squire at 719-210-5625 or email us at willshopeinfo@gmail.com,

  • If you are interested in attending/applying there are some pre-requisites/requirements (not all are listed below):

    • Submission of a Pre-Application.   

    • Having a personal hiking program so that you can hike 3 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet - this may be waived in certain specific individual situations.  

    • Complete the full application,

    • Complete a physical signed by a doctor, NP, PA or other qualified medical professional,

    • There maybe several interviews involved,

    • Attend the Orientation - this is mandatory and includes out of state participants, 

    • Acceptance for a Will's Hope Program is finalized after all documents are received and accepted by Will's Hope and all other requirements have been met.  This includes submission of the required fees in a timely manner, 

    • Ensure you can afford the time to participate in the 13-day program.  It is extremely important during the programs that you can avoid distractions, be in the moment or in the present, and participate with your peers in the activities.  For example, excessive use of the phone during program activities negatively impacts you as well as the rest of the group.  Typically, after dinner is when activities start to taper off and downtime is scheduled, which is the best opportunity for making calls.  Similarly, if you have a personal situation that requires a lot of your time during the program - and this is likely going to be a distraction that not only impacts you but impacts the group and diminishes not only what you get out of the program but what your peers get out of the program.  The two previous examples are just examples and there are other unwanted issues that are not conducive to our mission or your success.  Group size is typically 6-8 individuals, 

    • Be open to learning about subject matter areas that are new to you - this includes but is not limited to wildlife, natural processes in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (e.g., earthquakes, mass land movement, thermal features, etc.), geology, natural resource conservation, Native American culture, etc.

    • If horse riding is on the schedule there is a weight limit of 250 pounds per person, 

    • Participation in scheduled activities,

    • You will be required to self-certify that you can benefit from Will's Hope and have a disability or disabilities from your military service - you won't need a diagnosis but if you do have a diagnosis you will need to include that on the Pre-Application/Application,    

    • Fees:

      • The cost to Will's Hope for this program is approximately $5,000 per veteran.  We ask for a small part of this to be paid by the veteran and or sponsoring organization.  We require the veteran to pay at least $200 towards the specified fees ($400 for first time attendees and $800 for veterans that have previously attended) or pay the total fee ($400/$800) themselves.  If you have a sponsor the sponsor's contribution plus the $200 (paid by the veteran) must equal the total fee required ($400/$800).  If the sponsor wants to pay the full fee ($400/$800) the veteran must still chip in and pay $200.  Will's Hope may have some limited funds to help veterans that have a financial hardship. 

 We are accepting Pre-Applications & Applications until all slots are filled. 

          2023 Brochure Will's Hope 

               Veterans' Programs

2023 Will's Hope Summary of Programs for Veterans Rev 12

          Expectations of Veteran 

        Participants, Staff & Self-

               Assessment Rev 3

Sample Pre-Application Rev 1 - pls do not submit an unsolicited Pre-Application;  please contact us first 

    Medical Physical for Veterans 

Point of Contact for the Veterans' Program is Mark Squire 719-210-5625

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