Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit that serves the entire warrior community — active-duty, veterans, military families, caregivers, and families of the fallen. Through one of its first established programs, Warrior’s Wish, Hope For The Warriors fulfills a desire for a better quality-of-life or supports a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.
“Warrior’s Wish is about transforming lives. And we do it, one person, one family at a time by fulfilling life-changing wishes of severely-injured service members — wishes that push them beyond surviving, allowing them to thrive,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors president and CEO. “Because of avid supporters like Michael Nehlsen, we have granted nearly 200 wishes totaling over $1 million in transformative experiences for severely-injured veterans.”
Because of travel restrictions due to COVID-19, Nehlsen’s 1,300-mile journey kept him closer to home this year, stopping at military landmarks and memorials in New York and Connecticut including Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, N.Y., and the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial in Middletown, Conn.
“The highlight of this year’s ride was visiting Warrior’s Wish recipients Mark and Denise Beyers on their maple syrup farm,” said Nehlsen. “It was the 15th anniversary of Mark’s alive day, and talking with this family solidified the reason as to why I ride and why the Warrior’s Wish program is so important.
“While the sacrifices of our military may seem to go unnoticed by the general population, they exist nevertheless, and the toll can be considerable. Unlike many of these brave warriors, I was fortunate enough to come home to my family physically unscathed. However, my heart will always remain steadfast to my fellow veterans. Their stories need to be heard and understood.”
In six years, Nehlsen has traveled over 25,000 miles on his motorcycle raising nearly $150,000 for Warrior’s Wish providing wounded veterans with woodworking and farm equipment, family trips, a horse trailer, a bass boat, bicycles and more.
“Despite the challenges that were presented by the pandemic, Michael still found a way to adapt and overcome to continue his annual ride.” said Kelleher. “This shows you the commitment and passion that exists within the military community and we’re honored to have Michael raising funds and sharing Hope For The Warriors’ mission once again.”
About Hope For The Warriors: Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post-9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 30,000 through a variety of support programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded 150 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of over 27,500 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.