ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Cowboys and cowgirls saddled up Saturday to show FOX31 and Channel 2 a non-profit in the works that is designed to help women survivors from abusive relationships.
“Trying to cope with 20 years of war – that was just a chapter of my life, its not the book of my life. I was just a soldier and I want to continue to serve my community,” said Jeremiah Wilber.
Wilber was selected for the elite Green Berets where he served in the 3rd Special Forces Group as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant and in the 10th Special Forces Group as a Special Forces Operations (Team) Sergeant, with multiple combat rotations to Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.
“Through the War Party Movement, War Party Ranch has been created as a hands-on program to empower female survivors of abuse to break the cycle and develop transferable, employable skills for the real world of ranching, agriculture, and horsemanship,” the War Party Ranch website said.
Wilber created this nonprofit with abuse survivor Mikah Wysocki.
“I am an abuse survivor myself. I was in a bad relationship, I was young, I experienced things firsthand,” Wysocki said.
The duo said the nonprofit is all about empowering female survivors of abuse by providing fundamental horsemanship, stockmanship, and horse packing instruction, giving women the skills necessary to work in the agricultural, ranching and horse community.
“It has a lot of healing properties with the connection to nature and connecting with horses, but we’re teaching them a skill less than 99% of men in the country can do,” Wilber said.
The first group of women are expected to start at a ranch in Elbert County June of 2023.
“The ag way of life has been my saving grace in life and has kept me on a good path,” Wysocki said.
Right now, they are in the fundraising for the women to be able join this summer. Wilber is hanging up the saddle for skis and competing in a race from Crested Butte to Aspen.
“I’ve been doing the Grand Traverse Ski Race for the last four years and every year I use it to raise money for a veteran nonprofit. So this year is the first year I have my own non profit to raise money for,” Wilber said.
If you’d like to donate, he said every dollar raised goes to help the women to join the program. They have also started a GoFundMe you can donate to here.
Wysocki said her message to women currently in abusive relationships is, “it doesn’t get any better and it’s a really hard to get out of a situation like that, but better things exist. It’s good to know that women aren’t alone.”