The Boone-based We Can So You Can Foundation has entered a partnership with CACI International, Inc, who will provide funding and vision planning for Camp Healing Waters. The announcement was made Tuesday, March 21st, in front of a crowd of veterans, active military, and community leaders at Appalachian Mountain Brewery.
Camp Healing Waters was started in 2016 as a multi-day camp that strives to address the physical and emotional healing needs of wounded heroes and their spouses. The program focuses on providing comforting surroundings, counseling, and support to veterans and families that are dealing with changes brought on by the wounds of war. It is in this setting that many families are able to identify challenges and symptoms that can be better understood and eventually treated through proper diagnosis and therapy.
Last May, the We Can So You Can Foundation partnered with Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock and Trout Unlimited to host nine military veterans and their families during the inaugural Camp Healing Waters.
This year’s camp will be held May 18-21st in the mountains of North Carolina. The foundation has partnered with the Elk River Falls Fishing Club to provide Camp Healing Waters participants access to over four miles of some of the most prestigious club waters in North Carolina and the Blue Ridge.
“Camp Healing Waters is a different approach at addressing the veteran that most of us are used to seeing,” said Jeremy Barnes, Chief Financial Officer for the We Can So You Can Foundation. “A lot of time we put so much focus on the veteran in the family that we completely forget about the spouse or any children that are just as wounded as any veteran in that family. If a veteran brings their family unit with them, fixing the veteran does not solve the problem. We have to focus on fixing the entire family and that’s what we are hoping to do.”
CACI International, Inc provides dynamic career opportunities for military veterans and industry professionals that comprise a worldwide workforce of over 20,000 employees. The organization provides information solutions and services in support of national security missions and government transformation for Intelligence, Defense, and Federal Civilian customers.
“We are delighted to help sponsor this operation,” said Warren Phillips, Lead Officer at CACI International, Inc. “We have been one of the top 20 veteran hiring companies in the United States and we are one of the top three Wounded Warrior support programs in the United States. It’s because of our contracts with the government that we have run into so many veterans in need, and so many communities that we can help with thanks to projects like this.”
Through funding provided by CACI, the We Can So You Can Foundation added Alan Fogler to the staff as Director of Military Services. Fogler will work to continue expansion of the annual Camp Healing Waters program. The foundation looks to expand their footprint with a permanent facility in the High Country that can focus year around on supporting veterans and their families.
“We want to have a permanent facility where we can be open to veterans and their spouses as their needs arise,” said Fogler. “We don’t want them to have to wait 12-months for the next camp. If we can secure the right funding and the right people, we can make this happen. This is our long term goal.”
We Can So You Can Foundation will hold a fundraiser for Camp Healing Waters, Saturday, April 16th, at Camp Sky Ranch in Boone, NC. A donation at the door covers food and refreshments as well as live music performed by Handlebar Betty. A live auction will be held featuring guide trips, fishing gear, local artwork, and more.
“The High Country community has routinely supported the philanthropic endeavors of our local business community,” said David Jackson, President/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “The staffs at Appalachian Mountain Brewery and the We Can So You Can Foundation have a real passion for impacting the lives of veterans and their families. We’ve have seen our area serve as a transformative point in the lives of so many residents and visitors over the years. Camp Healing Waters will thrive within the Boone area’s abundant natural resources, and will be surrounded a community that cares for others.”
Photo: We Can So You Can Foundation CFO Jeremy Barnes (foreground), Director of Military Services Alan Fogler, Warren Phillips, CACI International)