Reading “Lone Survivor,” then watching the movie, cannot help but move one to action. “Lone Survivor” ignited a fire in Labs for Liberty co-founder, Joan Nold. Learning more about the Lone Survivor Foundation helped provide direction.
Marcus Luttrell, retired Navy Seal and the Lone Survivor of Operation Red Wing, an ill fated battle in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan in 2005, knows all too well the struggles these veterans and their families face. As founder of the Lone Survivor Foundation, Marcus sought to bring veterans and their families together, in a wholesome, calming ranch environment to reconnect and formulate a strategy to move forward together. Marcus has also experienced the healing power or a well-trained service dog – first Dasy and now Mr. Rigby (both yellow labs).
Our first mission was to raise money for Lone Survivor Foundation. We did just that, raising $6300 dollars through the raffle/auction of a lab pup who was donated back and now trained as a service dog for a veteran.
This has led to larger missions in an attempt to give back to those who have given so much. Labs for Liberty now has a two-fold purpose. First, we are raising and training Labrador retrievers to be gifted as service dogs to wounded warriors. We have chosen to specifically breed Labrador retrievers that are calm, intelligent, patient, obedient, and devoted. The dogs are also bred for their natural hunting ability.
These service dogs’ primary focus must be their veteran and the tasks they perform for that veteran, but they will also be capable of serving as a hunting companion to those veterans who find healing through hunting and outdoor activities.
Our second mission is to help veterans and their families heal through vacation retreats. We have converted a guest house on our property into a vacation retreat for combat veterans and their families. Named “Liberty Outpost,” it will provide a place, free of charge, where combat veterans will be able to vacation with their families or teammates. Unlike the Lone Survivor Foundation, we are not trying to provide professional therapy; rather, we’re just making it affordable for the military family to take a vacation by eliminating the cost of lodging. It is our hope that by providing lodging in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains of Utah, veterans can relax and begin to reconnect. We will be working with other veterans organizations to reach combat veterans with information regarding Liberty Outpost.
Ultimately, we embrace the statement made by American Sniper Chris Kyle, “It’s our duty to serve those who serve us.” This is our humble attempt to fulfill that obligation.
Federal 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization