Rides in a Huey Helicopter Highlighted The Highground Male Veterans Weekend Retreat

The Highground Veterans Memorial Park was recently the base of operations for its annual Veterans Weekend Retreat for male combat and noncombat Veterans of any era. From September 18–20, eleven Veterans, primarily Vietnam Veterans, were able to take part in exciting experiences and healing activities provided by the retreat.

With assistance from The Vet Center and several local supporters, the retreat offered many opportunities to begin new hobbies, make new friendships and create the framework for increased enjoyment in everyday life. Tools and information for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) management were available. The Highground Veterans Weekend Retreats are not specific PTSD counseling retreats; they are, however, guided in programming with the assistance of professional counselors and geared toward providing activities and seminars which have proven to be helpful to Veterans living with PTSD.

Veterans were individually lodged at the Moraine Motel or in very comfortable campers. Activities included a personal visit and rides in a restored Vietnam-era Huey helicopter; Woodcarving by Henry Smith; an evening tour of The Highground; and an incredible half-day experience at the Neillsville Country Club where the Veterans received a fun and informative golf instruction class before heading out to golf with the club pro. The weekend continued as the Veterans attended the Grand Opening of “We Were There: Korean War” at The Highground Museum and a private showing with Veteran artist Shawn Ganther and his premiere of “Unmasked” at the CART. A Forest Walk Therapy Program, a Tai Chi class and a journaling workshop with Scott Schultz of The Heartbeat Center for Writing, Literacy and the Arts followed. In their free time, Veterans were able to enjoy the over four miles of hiking trails at the Park. The days around the activities were filled with delicious food provided by Skip and Debbie Klabon and the evenings were spent around a bonfire at the Moraine Motel.

This three-day event was free for Veterans because of our generous sponsors and supporters: Neillsville Country Club, Central WI Broadcasting,  Cougar Ent/Hardee’s, Fred and Kim Berg, Skip and Debbie Klabon, Nicolet National Bank, Simplicity Credit Union, The Vet Center, The Moraine Motel, Festival Foods, CART Center, Thrivent Financial, Loyal American Legion #175, CHIPS Restaurant, Michele Benson, Larry and Kay Anason, Liz Hamilton, Henry Smith, Linda Imler AKF Martial Arts, Healing Oak Nature Therapy LLC, The Heartbeat Center for Writing, Literacy and the Arts, Julie Diesing, Loopy’s Grill & Saloon, Abby Bank, Gary Karczewski, Betty Nemitz, and John Snape.

The proceeds from The Highground’s Annual Winter Bowl help fund our Veterans Retreats. The 8th Annual Winter Bowl will be held on January 31, 2021 at Rose Bowl Lanes in Marshfield. For more information or to reserve your lane, send an email to events@thehighground.us or call 715-743-4224.

Planning has begun for The Highground’s 2021 Veterans Weekend Retreats. A male veterans weekend retreat will be held July 9–11, 2021. A female veterans weekend retreat will be held September 10–12, 2021. For information on attending, volunteering and/or sponsoring the retreats, send an email to museum@thehighground.us or call Theresa at 715-743-4224.

The Highground is located at W7031 Ridge Road, Neillsville WI 54456. For information about The Highground’s events, news items and more, visit our Calendar of Events page.