Local charity named Air National Guard winner for horse therapy outreach to service members

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

A local charity organization was named the 2022 Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Humanitarian Award recipient out of the entire National Guard consisting of 54 states and territories.

Established in 1996 by the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the award is named in honor of Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, both of whom contributed extensively to the support and welfare of U.S. military members and their families.

This award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside the Department of Defense that has demonstrated exceptional patriotism, generosity and selfless dedication to members of the armed forces, or that have significantly enhanced the quality of life of military members or their families, according to Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs.

Solid Ground Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy, under the direction of Shelley Trumbly, “provides equine therapy for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional or behavioral disabilities” in the Klamath Basin.

Their efforts include outreach to both active and retired military veterans who can find treatment for PTSD, anxiety, suicidal ideation and other mental health challenges.

“Shelley Trumbly is an exceptional leader who inspires and cares for our military community on a daily basis,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Osterland, a 173rd Fighter Wing Airman who coordinated the award submission. “She is a constant advocate for quality of life initiatives and selflessly provides therapeutic intervention to active and retired personnel of the Armed Forces.”

Solid Ground provided care for wounded warriors, first responders, and other at-risk military members—free of charge.

Utilizing a 160-acre facility including two barns, stable and riding arena, they established a military PTSD recovery program, a certified handicapped rider training program and administered 264 lessons for military members last year.

Col. Jeff Edwards, the 173rd Fighter Wing commander, personally presented Trumbly with a certificate of recognition,

“This award recognizes an organization which exemplifies the Fisher’s personal qualities of patriotism, generosity, and selfless dedication to members of the armed forces,” said Edwards.

He also extended his thanks on behalf of Klamath County and the 173rd Fighter Wing. “The support you provide not only to the community of Klamath County, but also service members is truly inspiring.”