Remount Foundation grew out of necessity. Jeanne Springer and Billy Jack Barrett were working at the riding stables at the U.S. Air Force Academy with cadets and other military members when they began to realize the horses were helping injured veterans. Word got out around the Colorado Springs military community and soon wounded combat veterans were calling from all branches of service. Jeanne and Billy Jack have trained horses for decades, with the Remount Foundation culminating as the most fulfilling part of their life work.
Dr. David Andrews is a combat-wounded veteran, retiring from 21 years of active duty after being wounded-in-action in Afghanistan. He is a Wounded Warrior scholar and alumni of the Remount Foundation’s equine assisted learning program. As with many Wounded Warriors, David struggled to recover from his injuries and adjust to life with a permanent disability. David credits the equine assisted learning program with helping him regain his footing and find renewed purpose and direction in his life. With the love and support of his wife and their four children, David has gone on to complete a doctorate and in 2015 was awarded the Secretary of Defense’s Outstanding Department of Defense Civilian Employee with a Disability; living proof that the first steps taken–the first time getting back into the saddle–in equine assisted learning can lead Wounded Warriors to greener pastures of peace and prosperity.
Mr. Marvin Boyd enjoyed a long and successful career as an executive at Phil Long Ford dealerships. He retired in 2006, and began the next chapter in his life, as an entrepreneur. Marvin believes in serving his community and is passionate about helping those who have bravely sacrificed for our country. He is actively involved in the development of the Remount Foundation.
Victor Eugene “Gene” Renaurt, Jr. is a retired U.S. Air Force four-star General. His last military assignment was as Commander of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). He concurrently served as the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) from March 2007 to May 2010. Prior to that, he served as Director of Strategic Plans and Policy for the Joint Staff and as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Renuart retired from the U.S. Air Force on July 1, 2010, after over 39 years of service.
Dr. Robert Hamilton earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas School of Medicine, San Antonio in 1975. He is Board Certified by both the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Occupational Medicine. Dr. Hamilton served as an ER Doctor at Denver General Hospital before starting the Emergency Department at Parkview Hospital, Pueblo, Colorado. Seeing the need for simpler, low-cost access to urgent care, Dr. Hamilton created the EmergiCare Medical Clinics in 1982 where he continues serving as the President, CEO, and Chief Medical Officer.
Betty Welsh is married to General (retired) Mark Welsh, Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and previously the 20th Air Force Chief of Staff. She was born in Natick, Massachusetts, and was raised in Oyster Bay on Long Island, New York. The Welsh family has moved all over the world and within the continental United States. After 38 years of marriage and 24 moves, they retired from the Air Force and have settled in College Station, Texas, which they are proud to call home.
In her current role, she provides outreach and community support to the Texas A & M community. She continues to advocate for military members and families, through her involvement as an Ambassador for Hiring Our Heroes, Honorary Chair for Easter Seals and serving on the board of the Remount Foundation.
Jeanne Springer has worked with horses most of her life. She has seen first hand the healing abilities of these majestic creatures. In 2008, Jeanne was working at the U.S. Air Force Academy Equestrian Center with Billy Jack Barrett, when they decided to reach out to wounded warriors affected by PTSD and other combat issues. The results have been remarkable. Jeanne is certified in Equine Assisted Learning, and her students cannot say enough good things about her intuition and compassion. She uses proven techniques and is also working to develop new methods based on her experiences with active duty military, veterans and their families.
The term, “a horseman”, falls short of describing Billy Jack Barrett, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Equestrian Center Manager. Growing up in Texas, Billy Jack was fascinated with horses. That early fascination turned into a lifelong passion fueled by mentoring from World War II veterans and industry experts such as Audie Murphy, one of the best horse-riding veteran actors of his time. A pivotal moment occurred in 1967 while Billy Jack was assigned as one of the last horse buyers for the 4th & 12th US Cavalry, Fort Carson. Billy Jack witnessed the sanctuary and subsequent healing horses provided to veterans suffering from battle fatigue/PTSD. Remount Foundation is the capstone of Billy Jack’s and Jeanne Springer’s first-hand experiences how horses can change the lives of soldiers and their families inflicted physically and mentally by combat trauma.
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