Special Forces and Horses

dude ranch vacation

special forces Take over the ranch

We had the honor of hosting a remarkable group of US Special Force members and their families. The week was organized through Special Forces Chapter 28 and Task Force Dagger Association. These non-profit organizations worked in conjunction with one another to accomplish their goals of promoting the general welfare of the Special Forces community.

A total of 25 folks including singles, couples, and families joined us for a 6 night dude ranch vacation experience October 29-November 4. The group was composed of Army’s Special Forces, popularly known as the Green Berets. Their service members range from being deployed on a handful of tours overseas to those who have served over a dozen tours around the globe. Naturally their roles have them spending a substantial amount of time away from their home and families.

To show our support and appreciation we wanted to provide them with an opportunity to spend quality time with their family, decompress, and just have fun.  And wouldn’t you know it, we have just the thing. A dude ranch vacation.

There were two themes that emerged and made this week standout.

theme 1: they were adventurous

The first theme that quickly became apparent was just how adventurous this group was.These guys are hardcore, they are specially selected and trained and always up for a challenge. So naturally we had to take our dude ranch vacation itinerary to the next level- and they always rose to the occasion. Skeet shooting… these guys eat that for breakfast. Instead we amped it up and partnered with Falcor Defense, and staged three shooting stations including;

  1. Hand gun station with silhouettes
  2. Shot gun station with clay targets
  3. Assault rifle with steel targets and Tannerite (aka explosives).

Not to mention it was a timed competition.

theme 2: support from the local whitefish community

We reached out to many local businesses and patrons and everyone jumped at the chance to get involved. Tupelo Grille treated everyone to an extravagant dinner featuring their famous Southern inspired cuisine. We visited Triple “D” Game Farm where we had the pleasure of watching a grizzly bear, mountain lion, snow leopard, and wolves play in the fresh snow. We celebrated Halloween by taking the cowpokes to a Corn Maze and trick or treating downtown.

zinke and special forces

One of the highlights of the week was meeting, US Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. A Whitefish native, Zinke invited the group into his home for a meet and greet. In addition he drew two lucky winners of custom carbon fiber gun barrels donated by local PROOF Research, valued at $1,000 each. There were plenty of Western moments along the way including square dancing, trail rides, roping, guest rodeo, and our favorite country singer, Kathy.

This was our second year working with these organizations to facilitate the dude ranch vacation of a lifetime. It was incredibly rewarding to watch families bond and connect with other Special Forces members from all over the United States. There was an instant comradery formed among the group which added a unique and special dynamic. We loved being part of their limited vacation time and are humbled to know such selfless people.

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