Cattleman’s Steakhouse, on the famed Indian Cliffs Ranch near El Paso, Texas, was the site for a recent Troop Appreciation Dinner and show. Freedom Alliance welcomed 225 guests, which comprised injured soldiers and their families from the Fort Bliss Wounded Warrior Battalion, for a memorable night of fun and good food.
Indian Cliffs is the setting for many Westerns and other film productions, and once you experience the scenery, you see why: desert vistas, red rock mesas, grazing cattle, and rustic adobe structures. This is exactly what our military families saw upon arrival, riding covered wagons out to western town sets and open ranges.
Meanwhile, the folks waiting for their before-dinner tour were entertained by Six Guns and Shady Ladies, a cast of performers who provided a personalized Wild West reenactment. The kids especially appreciated the gunfights and slapstick comedy, but even the grown-ups laughed and applauded.
A true Texas steakhouse, Cattleman’s offered delicious sirloin steaks and dinner buffet, much to the delight of the guests. This is the seventh year that this establishment has hosted our dinners and put forward a huge chunk of change toward the bill, for which we are so very grateful.
The remainder of the cost was covered by Freedom Alliance supporters, who donated for the event. One of the sponsors even flew in from Arizona to be at the meal and meet the Fort Bliss families.
Volunteers, Sarah and her veteran husband Nathan, painted the children’s faces, while parents made their way through the food lines.
Our photographer Amy set up a photo booth with western-style costume pieces—cowboy hats and ponchos—in sepia tones. She also snapped photos of the families enjoying one another during the meal and the performance.
In addition to themed photographs, we included at each place setting a Freedom Alliance mason jar drinking mug as a take-home souvenir.
It was a happy, carefree evening and much deserved for these soldiers who are recovering from combat injuries. It gave our heroes a chance to break from their rigorous rehabilitation regimes and medical appointments, as well as a pleasurable setting to enjoy with their family members. Our hope is that they remember this evening and know how grateful we are for their service and sacrifice.