We had a great response to the Canyonlands river trip that will launch July 11! We are a bit overbooked. But the outfitter Tag- A-Long Expeditons will except a slightly larger manifest. And in the end, a Warrior or two may drop out. So we will probably have around 16 Warriors/spouses/family.
From Denver we have Evan Malone and his wife, Aaron Bugg, Romie Villescas and wife Lorena, and Philo Close and son Matt. Evan and Romie and Philo will drive themselves, and I have not heard from Aaron on his travel plans. Hopefully Evan will volun- teer to take him.
The rest of the manifest consists of 3 Transition Battalion Warriors with their wives and one teenager from Fort Carson through Sgt. John Brinkman and Yvette Allen, and 4 Warriors from the Salt Lake VA through Dr. Jennifer Romesser. The 4 from SLC will be accompanied by Emily Potter, an MS in Recreation Therapy (I think) and a singer-musician-songwriter and much more who is bringing her guitar for campfire songs. I wonder if she can blow TAPS, I have a bugle.
This should be a great trip!! I’m very much looking forward to it.
The money is not all yet in the bank, but I think we will overshoot our funding goal a little. Outdoor Buddies, a 40 year old 501(c)3 spinoff from Denver’s Craig Hospital, has graciously agreed to accept and manage the funds so that charitable deductions are possible. Their president, Dwaine Robey, will be on my boat. If we have an excess in funding, it will seed next year’s trip.
Larry Cooke, Western Regional Director of Wounded Warriors Project, wanted to get some of his Warriors on the trip, but we were booked. So lo and behold Tag- A-Long has graciously agreed to a second launch on July 18, and Larry is working on putting that together.
Mike Bynum of the Aarchway Inn in Moab is furnishing rooms at 1/2 price to those on the first trip who want motel accommodations rather than camping with their buddies.
Thanks for all of your help in organizing this opportunity. My hope is that the Warriors will come home from this with a boost, more reintegrated, able to better downplay their disability, and with wide smiles. In the words of Jimmy Huega, Olympic skier struck down by MS (I’m paraphrasing), “It’s not what has happened to you, but what you to with it that counts.”.
Best of regards, Fred
P.S. Several weeks ago Warrior Don Hathaway called from Denver and put his name in, but did not leave contact information. If I can find him and if he wants to go, he’s welcome. I need his contact info if any of you have it.