Granby Ranch to host Honor the Warriors concert
For Sky-Hi News
Come this April, 11 veterans will become the second graduating class through Military to the Mountains and Granby Ranch, and the program has big plans to celebrate another successful year by hosting the Honor the Warriors concert fundraiser.
Military to the Mountains is a nine-week Texas bootcamp culminating in a weeklong trip to the mountains for veterans who have sustained combat-related critical injuries.
This year, the program is partnering with country musician Joe Nichols and Navy SEAL veteran Cdr. Rorke Denver to enhance the veteran experience and raise awareness of the program.
“Pairing these two together allows us to bring even more attention to the need and to this program,” said Andy Wirth, Granby Ranch’s general manager. “These guys are big shots and they really deeply care.”
Nichols will perform two concerts–one for the veterans at their private graduation ceremony and one for the general public, the latter to raise money for future Military to the Mountain participants.
Denver, who starred in the movie “Act of Valor” and has authored two books on the SEALs, will share the stage with Nichols to speak to the experience of veterans. Additionally, music legend Brent Rowan will lend his guitar prowess to the performance.
Nichols, a three-time Grammy-nominee, said he is excited to perform for Military to the Mountains because he supports the program’s mission and wants to do what he can to help soldiers.
“I love my country and I deeply appreciate the people who afford me my everyday life from what I do to my children,” he said. “It’s really cool to be a part of (the program) and it makes me feel like I’m doing something.”
Last year was the first that Granby Ranch hosted veterans through the program. Wirth said he helped develop Military to the Mountains to provide more resources to veterans experiencing physical disabilities and mental health issues.
The free 10-week program focuses on building up wounded warriors both emotionally and physically by helping them discover a passion for skiing and for life. Wirth originally started the program at Squaw Mountain in California and grew it to Granby to serve more military members.
“We can never do enough as a country honoring the warriors that are battling the things that follow them home, which can be physical, though many times the scars aren’t visible,” he said. “We hope to run out of clients at some point soon because we’ve helped them heal.”
According to data from the Department of Veteran Affairs, an average of 17 veterans died by suicide every day in 2019.
As a fellow veteran, Denver said the mission of the Military to the Mountains program resonated with him strongly and he was eager to help in any way he could.
“I consider myself a teammate with anybody that served. It doesn’t matter what job you did, what unit you’re a part of, what service you’re a member of, we all feel like we’re one team and one fight,” he said. “The intersection of music is a connection to home, particularly when we’re in harm’s way.”
Ultimately, Wirth hopes the Honor the Warriors concert will bring together veterans and their supporters while increasing resources for soldiers who may be struggling.
The Honor the Warriors concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1, at the Granby Ranch Base Lodge. All the donations will go to the High Fives Foundation, the nonprofit that supports Military to the Mountains.
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