Ben Luoma

Major, Field Artillery, Arizona Army National Guard Medical Hold Detachment Commander

“I command the Medical Hold Detachment (MHD-AZ) of the Arizona Army National Guard (AZARNG). The MHD-AZ is composed of members of the AZARNG who have been become seriously ill or injured in the line of duty. Most of these men and women were injured while serving in combat in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. As the commander of these men and women, I am constantly faced with the challenge of finding medical, emotional, and even spiritual help for those who face these extremely debilitating injuries.

I am constantly seeking help from both government services (U.S. Army, National Guard, Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), etc.) and even from charitable or commercial non-governmental services. This is how the MHD-AZ became involved with the Hoofbeats with Heart.

Through a lucky chance meeting, Master Sergeant Nicky Wells (my Readiness Sergeant) met the people from Hoofbeats with Heart and told them of our unit, it’s soldiers, and their immense recovery challenges. The Hoofbeats with Heart staff not only clearly understood the criticality of our soldiers’ injuries and situations, and their organizations’ unique ability to help these men and women, but offered to begin working via equine therapy and traditional counseling with our soldiers.

As of this date, Hoofbeats with Heart has worked with over 20 of our wounded soldiers, and I and Master Sergeant Wells, have received very positive feedback from our troops. It appears that the counseling that my soldiers receive from the VA coupled with the therapy that they experience from Hoofbeats with Heart is a powerfully healing combination. I am grateful beyond words for what Hoofbeats with Heart has given to the men and women who have given so much to their nation.

I wholeheartedly recommend this fine organization, their compassionate leadership and staff, and their outstanding program of healing to anyone who is struggling with emotionally debilitating injuries or memories. Any trust placed with this organization or capable staff will not be misplaced. Please feel free to contact me personally at anytime if you have any questions or need additional information about the MHD-AZ’s experiences with Hoofbeats with Heart.”

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