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How to Win the Lottery Without Actually Winning

Equinox Ranch before we moved in.

What to do with the millions you might win? An overwhelming question, filled with an array of new ideas, dreams and possibilities. The ranch started out as a discussion between two Veteran Crisis Line responders as they were purchasing a high jackpot Powerball ticket. What to do with so many millions turned into a conversation about creating a special place of healing for the combat veterans whose trauma we heard through our headphones each night. It was purely an idea, not a road-map for a program- just two people who wanted to help alleviate some of the suffering that so many people shared with them night after night.

That was three and a half years ago now, and though we did not win the Powerball that night, the seed that would become Equinox Ranch was planted. As one of those Crisis Line employees, and the founder of Equinox Ranch, I am amazed at the progress we have made and the support that we have found in turning our vision into a reality. Our success is not about us or our accomplishments. It's about being one step closer to helping the veteran on the other end of that phone call.

As a child, I was almost pathologically shy. Being an introvert gave me the opportunity to learn to listen. Despite having grown out of that shyness, I have taken that skill with me in my various roles as a professor, a crisis line responder and counselor. At a certain point, listening to callers on the Crisis Line and connecting them to VA services was no longer enough for me. I needed a more direct connection, to see a veteran breath a sigh of relief, to watch that veteran work through his or her trauma. Equinox Ranch is giving me the opportunity to turn ideas into action, and it has been incredibly exciting thus far.

Coming into this next season with a property of our own and a long list of improvements to be made, we will be launching a fundraising campaign in the coming weeks. I often say that the renovations to the ranch are a marathon, not a sprint; a team sport, not an individual one. I welcome you to become part of the ranch in whatever ways you are able. Keep an eye out for more information regarding our campaign! Together we can build a place where we can truly help warriors heal.


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