Indian Cliffs Ranch, near El Paso, Texas, is a favorite setting for such legendary films as The Day After Tomorrow, Glory Road, and Courage Under Fire. Amidst the authentic Old West landscape and expansive vistas, is the Cattleman’s Steakhouse, the site of this year’s Fort Bliss Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) Troop Appreciation Dinner.
The Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bliss in Texas rehabilitates wounded Army service members—medically, socially, and professionally—so that they may return to the service or retire as an effective veteran. We thought a Troop Appreciation Dinner would be just the thing to foster morale for these tireless soldiers, whose lives revolve around their disabilities and on-going recovery.
Old-fashioned covered wagons rolled our WTB guests, their families, and caregivers around the ranch to explore various movie sets. Meanwhile, the parties waiting their turn for the tour visited the petting zoo and the face-painting station, or played ball on the grounds.
Nadeen Wincapaw was our hostess for the evening; a dedicated volunteer, she secured donations for toys and other fun items to entertain the youngsters during dinner. A buffet-style banquet with fresh-cut steaks fed all 320 attendees (50 of which were children), and many claimed it was the best steak they’d ever had!
Nadeen chatted with some of the families in attendance. One National Guard soldier told her about being injured during his deployment and his subsequent physical therapy at Fort Bliss WTB. Leaving behind their home and security, his family relocated to El Paso to be by his side. He said being with his family was essential to his recovery.
The financial burden they’ve incurred from the move makes it near impossible to indulge in a night out with the family. They were grateful for the opportunity to be together to enjoy dinner and entertainment at Indian Cliffs.
Freedom Alliance team member Dick Paulsen dined with a soldier who is retiring next year. “His dream is to have his family ranch in New Mexico be a place for wounded warriors to go to and get back to nature,” Dick said. LtCol Tachias later emailed Dick, including photographs of his ranch.
“I can only echo the sentiments of my fellow troops,” he said. “This was an incredible thank-you to the war fighters. Please extend my regards to your team for the excellent support and their kindness.”
The WTB Command presented Nadeen and Freedom Alliance with certificates of appreciation for remembering their troops in rehabilitation.
The event was covered by the Fort Bliss Monitor and El Paso Times.