On April 9 & 10, 2022 Veterans Equine Therapeutic Services of Connecticut (VETS) in  partnership with Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) will be hosting a two day veterans  outdoor educational event in Stonington and Niantic, Connecticut.

The “Ruck Up” series was created to give veterans an opportunity to gather with other  veterans in an outdoor setting to learn a variety of practical outdoor skills while examining their  own sense of purpose and cultivating a positive personal mind set.

Based on the familiar command “Ruck Up!”, which translates to get up, grab your gear and get moving!“ presents with the right attitude, training, support and tools, even the most dire of situations can be survivable and surmountable especially in everyday life.

Ruck Up is the embodiment of this attitude presented by sharing the joy of outdoor sports to  veterans by veterans. In this event, 15 veterans and their instructors will experience several sessions including Equine Therapy, which entail working with horses to explore personal empathy, emotional  management and nonverbal communication.

Sessions in outdoor wilderness skills such as shelter construction, fire creation and survival skills teach discipline, preparedness and the adventure mindset during stressful situations.

Archery and Competitive Shooting courses will teach focus, mindfulness, discipline and follow through. The veterans will be able to show off their skills in a group competition with prizes awarded at the end of the event. Each session is designed to pair adventure skills with usable life skills in a fun and supportive environment.

It is our intention to fully equip our students with all the outdoor equipment they will use over  the weekend including their packs, shelters, survival gear, bows, arrows and quivers and many  other items to empower them in any outdoor situation. This small gesture as a “thank you” for  their service will go a long way to healing their internal wounds and introduce some lifelong  hobbies.

Would you consider sponsoring our event or donating funds to purchase some of the  equipment or to help fund the event? We need to fill out 25 packs with equipment for our  veterans and the instructors. In return for your generous support, we’ll work with you to identify  the best ways to showcase your company to our event attendees, the local community and  supporters and spotlight your amazing support to the veteran community.