Big Surprise Gifted to Military Veteran
EASLEY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A military veteran received a big surprise weighing in at more than one thousand pounds. An Upstate horse rescue kept the secret from him, giving him a special way to pay it forward by helping other veterans.
Robert Blackburn is a retired staff sergeant, who found a new calling after leaving the military. He partnered with “Hastey’s Haven” to start “Operation Fallen Feather’. A horse therapy program for veterans.
Today, Blackburn was gifted with a “Caisson Horse of The Old Guard”. Caisson horses serve with members of the Caisson Platoon carrying the caskets of the fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery. After the horses complete their service, they retire and are adopted.
Joann Kelly with “Hastey’s Haven”, filled out the adoption application on Blackburn’s behalf.
Kelly said, “I was a bit surprised when I got an email back saying that we have been approved, but would we consider taking one that wasn’t really in the rotation and was currently in active duty and I was like yes!”
9-year-old horse Washington is still considered young. Blackburn said, it amazing the healing that can happen between a person and an animal.
Blackburn said, “He’s not just a horse for the therapy program. He truly is a veteran. When you get out of the military, that is something that is hard to overcome. When you get out you are no longer alongside your fellow veterans. We have the opportunity here who understand everything that we went through and he has stood watch over us for his time, and we’ve been graced to have him here and now we can watch over him.”
Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.