Sundance for Our Soldiers (SOS)

Is a 501(c)3 Not-For Profit whose mission is to provide free Equine-Assisted Learning Services to active military, reserves, veterans of all ages and dependants.

(309) 945-7257
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

Winston Churchill

Mission

To provide Equine-Assisted Services for Active Military, Reserves, Veterans and their dependents.

Equine-Assisted Learning

Sundance for Our Soldiers (SOS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that offers a unique innovative approach to personal growth and learning for soldiers of all ages and their families.  SOS uses the EAGALA Model, a team approach to healthy living.  There is NO Horseback Riding and NO Horse Experience Needed.  All activites take place 100% on the ground interacting with horses.  Each session is facilitiated by a Mental Health Professional, Equine Specialist and Horse(s).  The horses in their natural environment have the innate ability to mirror what they see.  The non-verbal communication from the horses helps become a catalyst for self-discovery and personal growth.

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SOS is looking for Help.... 

Part-Time Counselor ASAP:  One Evening for couple hours once a week plus once a month workshop on weekend.  Mut be licensed Mental Health Professional experienced working with PTSD.  Military background desired.  Please email Cover Letter, Resume, 2 professional, 2 personal or service related references required.   Email with subject line:  SOS Counselor and your last name.  In the content of email give a brief one sentence statemet why you would be a great asset to Sundance for Our Soldiers.  Please send information to sundanceforoursoldiers@gmail.com

Board Members:  If you are intersted in being on the board of directors please email us for a Director Application.  Email is sundanceforoursoldiersgmail.com

Committee Volunteers:  If you would like to volunteer at one or all of our events please email your contact information with the subject line to read - Volunteer with your Last Name.  We are starting the planning stages for expansion next year.  Help is needed such as; fundraising, grant writing, website administrator, pubic relations and advertising.

2017 SOS Workshops
Note***Changed date for October!

October 29th - Milan, IL  (Schone's Friendship Farm)
November 5th - Cambridge, IL  (SOS Facility)

1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Call and Register Today!

(309) 945-7257

Local transportation can be provided with advanced notice.

Click button below to see the flyer.

2017 SOS Workshop

The SOS Team

Mental Health Professional
Equine Specialist
Veteran Glenn Redmond - Masters Degree in Counseling.  Glenn is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served 8 years including one tour in Vietnam.  He is a combat veteran, serving in Phan Rang as Sentry Dog Handler and Supervisor.  Awarded a Silver Star for Gallantry in Action and a Purple Heart during his tour in 1968-1969.  He served in the Air Force Honor Guard in Washington D.C. performing funerals in Arlington National Cemetary as well as being assigned to the Presidential Color Guard in the White House.  He has a Masters Degree in Counseling, was certified as a Substance Abuse Counselor in the State of Arizona and was the Supervisor for a 70-bed, Long Term Residential, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  He is a Certifed Peer Support Counselor with Vet to Vet, a national organization providing PTSD counseling support to VETS.  He presently is the Minister for the Geneseo Church of Christ and provides counseling free of charge to Vets in the community.
Equine Specialist Megan Sundeen - Daughter of a Korean Veteran.  Megan was certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) to assist as part of the team approach that SOS uses.  She grew up in the Standardbred Horse Racing Industry as her father surrounded the family with horses as part of his coping mechanism.  The family had horses of all ages and several different breeds.  She has been a caretaker and owner of horses for over 25 years.  Also Megan has been a Horse Racing Official and worked for a horseman's association managing a membership of over 1,000 members.  In addition, she is a certified teacher in the state of Illinois.

2017
SOS Public
Demonstration


Veteran Jake
Click on "Veteran Jake" to see the News Coverage of the SOS Demonstration on July 30, 2017.  SOS Veteran Jake shared his actual 3rd therapy session with the audience.  What a rare occassion and fantastic learning opportunity for the public.  Horses are not trained to this type of therapy it is their innate ability.  For the purpose to proof these horses are not trained this was the first time Jake has ever seen these horses. 

This young man is a walking miracle to be alive today after  laying on railroad tracks desperate to escape the aftermath of combat.  SOS is so grateful to be able to help him with his journey to self-disovery and healthier living!  Jake has decided as part of his healing and reconnecting to people he wants to help spread the word that Equine-Assisted Pscyotherapy & Learning is a very effective program.  We are HONORED to have Jake as a part of SOS's Expansion!
Public Demonstration
2017
This year's public demonstration is in the books!  It was a successful event spreading the word for soldiers to hear about our free services.  Great opportunity for the public to see first-hand what happens with PTSD and our Soldiers.  We are blessed to have an SOS Veteran, Jake, offer to demonstrate an individual session by doing his own session in front of the audience!  What an experience that was for Jake and everyone witnessing the event.  Such bravery this young man has!  It was an honor to have met one of the Quad Cities WWII & Korean Veteran and former Jockey, 90yr old Arturo Floriez!  Unfortunately Arturo was exhausted from the hour drive so he had to leave early, but the smile on his face seeing those horses was priceless.  SOS is in the process for arrangements to get him up close and personal with the horses.  Thank you to our SOS Board Directors who were able to come.  Also a big Thank You to our volunteers for help making this event a success.  It was wonderful that our local business' were willing to help support our Soldiers by donating door prizes to any soldiers in attendance.  Door prize donor's were....Reiman's Harley Davidson, Breedloves and Pizza Hut all of Kewanee.  The Boiler Room Restaraunt in Kewanee donated beautiful finger food trays to the event.  Definately cannot forget our Photographer, Tracy Vanwynsberghe - Diehl with "Be Still Photography" who donated her services and captured some outstanding memorable moments to share with all of us.  Thank you everyone for your help!

Check out the pictures below for a sneak peak from the SOS 2017 Public Demonstration
at Black Hawk College - East Campus
Support our Soldiers
SOS is funded by Donations & Grants
As a 501(c) 3 Tax Exempt Not-For-Profit Organization we are solely funded by Donations and Grants.  Donations over $250 are tax deductible and you will receive a letter at the end of the year for your taxes.  The majority of our budget goes to the Mental Health Professional and the Equine Specialist for their services and time spent helping the soldiers. 

In 2018, SOS plans to expand our services reaching more soldiers at further distances and job creation.  We are located in a very large rural area.  Henry County Illinois is one of the largest counties in the state of Illinois.  We have 4,000 Veterans according to the 2010 Census.  Out of that 4,000 almost 600 Veterans are disabled according to Dot Meindok, Henry County VA Commission Superintendent. 

There are 2 - VA Vet Centers 50 miles from our location that provide counseling.  Unfortunately they are overwhelmed and under staffed with the large number of Veterans they see therefore making it a wait to be seen.  SOS is in contact with the Vet Center in East Moline.  They have come out to try SOS's approach and interested to incorporate it into their program.  It is a work in progress but perfect example of how overwhelmed the Vet Center is with the lack of staff available to organize something they know was helpful to their soldiers.  The Quad City Vet Center is fortunate to have a very caring and dedicated administrator.  Many times we have had conversations about services for veterans while she is still in her office at 9pm trying to catch up.  The stress of that position is unimaginable.

Closest VA - Vet Clinic is 45 miles away in Galesburg, IL.  That is the closest psychiatrist available to veterans.  Many veterans don't have transportation to get to appointments.

Closest VA Hospital is Iowa City, IA a 2 hour drive and Chicago is 3 hour drive.  Wait to be seen is long.  Transportation is a huge challenge for many veterans needing services.

Rural America is suffering with the lack of services for mental health illness' and effective programs such as SOS.  SOS is the only Free Mental Health Service specific to the Soldier's needs in our area.  The span between our program and other similar programs stretches from Chicago, IL across the Mississippi River as far as Central Iowa.   This innovative approach to mental health uses horses in a professional counseling session.  An innovative professional approach utilizing a horse's innate abilities. 

Please help our mission by donating today!


Free ......  Public Demonstration
July 30, 2017 - It was an AWESOME Experience!
Checkout the News Coverage of the event...... Channel 4 - Fox News

At Black Hawk College's East Campus Horse Arena
Galva, IL
News Coverage
CLICK HERE
SOS is excited to share with the public how this type of horse therapy helps soldiers.  Due to this type of therapy it is a priority we honor confidentiality to those we serve.  Therefore we cannot share this with the public any other time but now.  The nautre and process of this therapy is like none other.  There is NO HORSEBACK RIDING, instead all activities take place on the ground.  You really have to see it to understand the amazing nagtural ability the horse has to mirror and communicate what they see non-verbally.  These horses are not trained in anyway.  Our effective therapy approach has helped many people discover a solution-based outcome.   Service members and their families need help.  Come check us out even if you don't love horses, the demonstration event will take less than 2 hours including Q & A.  This is about how we can help soldiers with a natural approach to a happier healthier life after service related issues.  You'll enjoy the experience and walk away with having learned something about a prey animal that has surived millions of years.  How is that possible?  Come find out!  Showing interst is a great start helping to support our area soldiers!
Download
Flyer
2017 SOS Groups
NEW... 2 locations now available!
New this year SOS is offering group sessions in Henry and Rock Island County!  Henry County has over 4,000 veterans and almost 600 of them are disabled.  Many veterans haven't reported service related disabilities like PTSD, Combat Stress and other service related issues.  SOS doesn't share the soldiers information.  Confidentiality is our priority.  This is a Free Mental Health Service with qualified professionals.    Private individual sessions also available goal focused once a week over several weeks.  It's all about self-discovery where true growth and learning take place.

August 13th .....Milan, IL  (Schone's Friendship Farm)
September 17th .....Cambridge, IL  (SOS Facility)
October 29th .....Milan, IL  (Schone's Friendship Farm)
November 5th .....Cambridge, IL  (SOS Facility)
Download
Flyer

The EAGALA Model is the global standard for Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Learning (EAL)

The EAGALA Model is highly professional.

EAGALA is the ONLY association offering
a fully-developed, professionally endorsed
treatment model for mental health professionals practicing equine assisted psychotherapy. The EAGALA Model stands alone in the world of equine assisted psychotherapy because of it’s team approach. EAGALA standards require both a licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional and a
credentialed Equine Specialist work together collaboratively at all times to assure clients get the therapeutic attention and support they need as they make life changes.
The EAGALA Model happens on the ground.

There is no riding or horsemanship. Physical and emotional safety are paramount. This proven approach enables the client to work directly with
the horses face-to-face on the same footing. Through their reactions and responses, highly-sensitive horses serve as honest stand-ins for the important people in the client’s life. They offer honest feedback and usable information
on the attitudes and behavior of the people working with them. The treatment team works with the client to process and understand what the horses teach them.

The EAGALA Model is solution-oriented.

It’s built on the premise that it’s the client who needs to determine the kinds of changes they need to make in order to improve their life. The job of the treatment team is to put The EAGALA Model to work helping clients
understand, access, validate and experience the changes they want to make in a safe, supportive setting.

"The EAGALA Model uses the horse to gain insight into behaviors and perceptions.  The horse's reactions provide unbiased and real timefeedback, breaking through the barriers that many military members experienced in conversation with others who cannot begin to understand what we feel because we made it back.   Equine assisted psychotherapy provides a strategy for dealing with trauma in a way that makes sense to military service members."
                                                                                                                                                                    
 Jimmy L. Walters, Col, USA (Ret)
Hear the Testimony
Testimony from Soldiers who have used the EAGALA Model
  1. From the EAGALA Military EAVS Report
    "I had a very good experience here; very uplifting, refreshing and helped with clarity, finding out that I am still useful, in fact maybe refined due to all that I have experienced. Thank you." "It's the first time in many years I have felt comfortable and safe."
  2. "I think it has been good. It gave me a lot to think about and compare to our action and communication. A peaceful, relaxing and comforting place to be. I wish I had more time to enjoy." "Very calming enjoyable experience."
  3. "This program was very useful as in eye opening. The beginnings of trust as in feeling it, My interest in this therapy has taken off! I found the purpose to pursue a goal that emotions are many and how we deal with them is just as important in maintaining and reaching that goal. Very supportive facilitators."
  4. "Fun thought provoking peaceful, soul searching, making connections facing fears and doubts. Uplifting, spiritual. I’m glad we didn’t ride the horses because we would have been focused on learning to ride instead of finding inner strength and peace. I felt this was a time for personal growth."
  5. "WOW! The hands on approach and interaction with the horses is like therapy at warp speed. The girls also do a group together where we just talk and this really brought up things about ourselves that we may not have discovered. I loved the vague guidelines and then allowing us to interpret them however we wanted by using our imagination. Wonderful experience."
  6. "Being around horses is nothing new to me but we have been without them for about 6 years and I did not realize how soothing it was to have them walking around and wanting to be touched. What was new to me was being in a group of individuals that are having some of the same feelings and situations as me. Being with two older gentlemen that were in their 60s made me realize that I may have to battle these feelings for a while and I am going to have to learn to cope with them."
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