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Episode #55, Special Guest, Dr. Vicki Smithers from Counting Stars Ranch, a Veteran and 1st Responder Non-profit Retreat!

by Brad Richard
September 26th 2021
00:46:44
Description

Join us as we speak with Vicki Smithers about her Amazing Ranch for Veterans & 1st Responders! David and Dr. Vicki Smithers are owners and founders of Counting Stars Ranch in Ore City, TX.

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Welcome back everyone to the Men on a mission podcast. I'm your host, brad Richard. And shortly we will be starting our next episode, we will be providing you tools, resources and information that you can use to make your life just a little bit better. But before we do that, let's honor our country and then we'll begin the podcast. Mhm. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, mm. Yeah, Yeah, mm. Mhm. Welcome back everyone to the Men on a Mission podcast. I'm your host, brad Richard and tonight I have a special guest with me. Her name is Vicki Smithers, she is a doctor, so I will refer to her as dr Vickie Smithers unless she tells me you know not to going forward, but I just want to give you a little, a little bio, a little information on Vicki, she's the co owner and founder of Counting Stars Ranch which is located in or city texas.

It is a 76 acre ranch is nestled in the piney woods near Lake of the Pines and Barnwell mountain outdoor recreational vehicle park. They have to fishing ponds and acres of walking trails and their mission statement is we provide military veterans and first responders with service related with service related um disabilities I'm assuming and their service dogs with the service dogs support at a peaceful environment to rest, relax and renew. Sounds good to me. Um they connect veterans and first responders with local services, they're helping to build community and assist them in building a stronger and more effective bond with their service dogs, building bonds and helping heroes. That is what the counting stars ranch is about. It is a non profit and it is, uh, it's just, it's a retreat and it is a place for veterans and first responders to find a home and to relax and support one another self with no further ado, please welcome to the podcast Vicky Smithers and I believe she's with me.

Hi brad. Thanks for having me on your podcast. Oh, you are so welcome when I, I did a copy and paste for the intro. And uh, I think when I did the copy and paste, I must have not copied or paste correctly because there was words that were missing and I just kind of had to fill them in as I went. But I think the, the listeners, you know, got the gist of it. You're going to tell us a lot more about the ranch. Um, it's, it's, you know, I've been there personally, I've been been to the ranch. Uh, it is beautiful, it's serene, it's peaceful and I can give a testimonial that when you're, there seems to be no outside world in your mind and in your heart, when you're there, um, you're in a different place and everything outside of, outside of the acres and acres of land, uh, for us, it didn't really exist until we left. And then, you know, reality kind of caught up with us.

But it's like, oh, okay, back to the real world. But yeah, it's uh, it's a great place. So tell the tell the listeners we have men and women veterans that listen to us as well as family members and I'm sure some first responders as well. So tell the listeners a little bit about your background. Um, you are a doctor in what question, Mark? And tell us what, you know, what you and your husband, Dave, what made you decide to buy the land and move in this direction. Sure. So I'm a family physician and I practice general medicine in Rockwall texas And I'm in a group practice there and I've been there for 20 years. Um, Dave and I have been married for 31 years and um, we have two grown Children, Ryan and Rachel and David was a army veteran. Um, he served back before the first gulf war and he was medically retired after a vehicle injury. And um, it was right before his unit went over to uh, Iraq.

And so, um, he has always of course stayed in touch with his army buddies and been involved in fundraising and other things for lots of veterans organizations over the years. But he's one of his biggest loves his animals. He's, um, we call him the dog whisper. He's just really incredible with dogs and he volunteered for patriot paws, which is veterans group out of Rockwall who helps pairs vets with service dogs. And so he volunteered with them a few years back before we moved out to the country and um, he had always talked about trying to partner with them and, and develop a retreat center for vets that they could feel comfortable and bring in their dogs with them, be able to get out of the city and be able to basically kind of distress and unplug. Um, he is a big outdoors guy. He, his favorite thing was always to go camping, spend time out fishing or hiking just time in the woods.

He really liked to Do a lot of hiking and things like that. So um, about seven years ago now we um, found 76 acres out there in east Texas and um, we started clearing trails and developing it. Originally there was just an old hunter's cabin on it and nothing else. And then we built a little barn, domini. Um, and then last year we started a bed and breakfast and put a small cabin on that. And so that's where we hold our retreats is that are Family farm, we have two horses, three dogs and we have the currently one cabin in what we call the bunk room so we can host to families at a time and we have plans to add an additional anywhere between four and 10 more cabins to be able to host larger groups. It sounds like it sounds, you know like the place to check out.

Now you have the bed and breakfast, that's a separate business. And then the veteran and first responders retreats. Those weekend retreats. Now that is based on, you do like vetting I'm assuming and they have to apply to attend and we apply to attend the retreats. Is that how that works? So some of it is like direct referrals. So, um, I work with some local councillors that will send me veterans that are in need of some uh, you know, just get away some downtime that are dealing with stress or have um significant symptoms of PTSD and just need to get away. And so some of it's on private referral, but we um advertise um, we have a facebook page and where online at counting stars ranch dot com and any veteran who has a service related disability for a first responder with the disability can apply for those weekends.

They do not have to have a service dog, we have it available for service dogs and we would like to continue to build that. Um, but they can come and enjoy the weekends. They, because they're such a small number of available spots, they do have to apply. We just asked them to tell us about themselves what sort of uh, um struggles they're having, what their disability is for. So we can make sure we have reasonable accommodations for them if they have a service dog and tell us about their dog and what kind of things the dogs does for them to be able to help and assist in trying to improve some of that capability? And then we try to kind of pair them with another vet with some similar backgrounds so that we make sure the vet, the two veteran families there would be fairly compatible. So try to keep them around the same age, not necessarily same branch of service and we do responders on a separate weekend.

Okay. Yeah, I chuckled because it's like, you know, don't put like Army and Air Force people together, you know, weekend where we do have two different service branches. So we'll see how that goes. That's the first time that's happened. But they sound like, I think they'll get along okay, we'll see when it when it's all said and done. Um I know you guys have an amazing fire pit is I think what, maybe 10, 11 ft in diameter. I mean it's a big fire pit, we actually now have three. So um we have a, you know, we have a smaller fire pit out over by the cabin. So um that's more for just the individual family and then we have two large fire pits um for larger groups so we can get, You know, 12 to 14 people around them easily. Yeah, a question that I had and I mean we're going to get into some other details in our second segment, but a question that popped up in this segment is what if um a vet and his or her family, what if they have like a pop up camper or RV travel trailer.

Are they able to bring that out to the to the retreat and stay in their own in their own rig because you know it's comfortable and all their stuff is already in it, you know. So that was the question I had. Yeah we we have had weekends of before we had the barn in and the cabin in where that's all there was. We had eight trailers come in and we ran power and those that didn't have uh the availability for generators. And so we have had done camper weekends before last year and they went over well and so we could definitely make accommodations. We don't have a set area. It's something we've talked about doing is kind of having water in the plumbing and electric run so that we could do a few campers. We have one camper spot that some friends recently vacated so we have that available. And so we could use that if somebody made that request at this point we have not had that request again but we can definitely talked about it.

It would be definitely something to do if we had a larger group in east texas. Um I drive, you know my my job, my J. O. B. Outside of everything else I do online and and on the website and the podcast. I come across so many R. V. Part. Um I think east texas probably has more RV parks than anywhere in the country because I've been through a lot of states and the sheer number of them it's just I mean you go down 31 Towards Athens out of Tyler and I think there's a like 11 on 31. And so I just was was picturing you know if you even had even if you have dry camping where where you didn't necessarily you know have the water, the electric, the septics and that kind of stuff. Even dry camping To have like eight spots or you know or or six spots or whatever because I used to be a full time our beer and me and my ex wife we traveled around and we were on the road full time for 2.5 years and there's something about campers and our veers that they're really accepting, they're very friendly, they're very family orientated and uh and when vets get together um their their behavior is very similar to full timers in the RV world being event myself.

I mean I just felt accepted and there was camaraderie and there was laughter and there was storytelling and you know that's basically what vets do when they get together. And so I think it it would be cool if they could be together in a group setting like that and uh you know and it was just kind of foster the conversation so that would be awesome. And if that happens in the future, let us know and we'll get our camper and we'll be out. Well that sounds great. And you know, that's the neat thing about this is um, we have such a large piece of land that we have a lot of opportunities and things that we can adapt. It's been a slowly growing in a kind of, you know, since I'm still working full time in my private practice and we're busy with the farm as a whole. We've started with one weekend a month. Then if things get busier and we have a lot of more fundraising ability, then we may, you know, be able to grow that.

And my husband has talked quite a bit about putting in a RV park um, to use for our weekend. So it, it may happen. So he kind of has that as a vision. So we'll see if, if he can cool that's because he's army. That's right. He knows him and I are army. Yeah, we okay. So we're thinking of like, yeah, we're good for Dave, that's a, that's a good vision. Been there, done that. I think it's a good idea. But yeah, super. Now when you say, um, like for example if the veteran or first responder wants to go to your website and all your links will be in the show notes. So don't worry about writing anything down. Um, you know, the listeners, you can just go to the show notes and click on whatever whatever they choose to when they go to your website, they can see like the upcoming weekends in the upcoming events. How far ahead does someone have to apply to be considered for, you know, attendance, you know, to to a weekend getaway.

Sure we're booked through the end of the year so we have three retreats and they're filled currently and so I start three months in advance. So in november, the february March and april retreats will open and so um and first of november people could um then they can always go ahead and email me and let me know they're interested. Give me their information there just an area to sign up a reply here is the way it's it's written, they can give me their information, contact tell me their story and then I contact them and have them fill out a larger questionnaire that is actually kind of the formal application so forward that to them as we get a little bit closer and then we contact them if they're chosen for one of the weekends? That's yeah, that seems simple enough. Do you when it comes to like a vetting process, Are there certain are there certain veterans depending on where they're at, as far as any kind of mental health issues, the severity of their PTSD or their T.

B. Are there certain veterans that probably wouldn't be able to attend a weekend because of one thing or another or access to medical, how far out or how far away are you from like major medical. So we're So we're 30 minutes from longview and an hour from Tyler. And so those are the closest hospital based medical facilities. And so we try to make sure people understand they have to have some ability to get around because it is rough ground you are in the country. And so we do not have, you know sidewalks and clean roads and things like that. You're actually going to have to be able to maneuver on some uneven ground etcetera. So if your physical disability is um leaves you with difficulty with mobility, um this is probably not your best retreat. So we try to have people with minimal physical impairment.

Um And also if there's any unstable kind of medical recent medical need because we are remote in an hour from, you know, most major medical facilities. We would ask that, you know, that that also kind of comes into play. We don't do anyone uh accept anyone who's actively in treatment for drug or alcoholism because again, uh the concern about withdrawal or other issues and being so remote from medical care. So um fairly stable. Um we don't really have a preference as far as that specific disability, whatever, whether it be physical or mental. Um but we um we just look for those people that are struggling that are having difficulty with ongoing anxiety that are really feel like they need that getaway that love the outdoors um that need to reconnect with their family.

Um Those that have service dogs that they, I don't get to spend a lot of training time with or you know just the lovers of the outdoors, you know my husband is uh such a big outdoorsman, he just wants other people to kind of be able to come out um turn off their cell phone kind of um just uh disconnect and be able to enjoy nature and the peace and quiet of the farm, have that camaraderie with other vets um and spend a little time with their families reconnecting and then we can address some basic uh stress reduction techniques and help with some of just building that community and re connection with the family. We do a lot of family activities and things like that. So people that are in need of that type of service or those that we are focusing on. You guys also have a really nice fishing league. Yes sir, that's part of the relaxation weekend I would imagine.

So I'm a big lover of fishing, so I guess I do the fishing tours uh Davis uh spend some time with us. He likes the voting part but we haven't opened up our weekends to the boating yet just because of some reliability issues but we do a nice uh day of fishing that's kind of our outdoor activity on Saturdays when we have our retreats and so we have a nice dock on the lake and it's a little uh, seven acre ponds, a small lake and it stopped and so we spend some time over there fishing and then we have three smaller ponds also that have um, bass and brim and uh, we have catfish. So, um, everybody kind of enjoys the fishing days. The kids love catching those brim off the dock and just, I think being out outside and exploring the lake. They love it. So, um, yes, we really do. We have a good day fishing and uh, everybody's ready for a good lunch by the time uh, noon comes around so, well I have a couple more questions, but I want to save them uh, for the second segment because we're going to take a short break and when we get back we will continue speaking with Vicki Smithers.

She is the co owner and co founder of counting stars ranch in your city texas. It is a retreat. It's a ranch for first responders and veterans to come out, relax, regroup retreat, regroup in advance. That's the subtitle of the podcast people. So this is a very exciting place. I've been there myself personally and when we get back from the break, we're going to find out a little bit more about counting stars ranch, how you can get involved and uh, and just kind of fill you in on some more details and I would encourage people to check out the show notes and click on those links to get more information. So just stay with me Vicky and we'll be back shortly. Welcome our new sponsored scars and stripes coffee company. They empower veterans to build their own business using their e commerce platform. When you purchase from scars and stripes coffee, you are buying from a veteran and your purchase directly impacts the men and women who have served our country.

Do more than say thank you for your service order today and empower a veteran. Use vet code brad richard at scars and stripes coffee dot com. That's scars and stripes coffee dot com. Have you heard about anchor? It's the easiest way to make a podcast. Let me explain. First of all, it's free. They have great creation tools that allow you to record and edit your podcast right from your phone or your computer anchor will distribute your podcast for you and it can be heard on Spotify, apple podcast and many, many more. You can make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership. It's everything you'll need to make a podcast in one place, check them out and download the free anchor app or go to anchor dot FM to get started. That's anchor dot FM to get started. Welcome back to Part two of episode 55 of the men on a mission podcast.

We are speaking with dr Vickie Smithers, she is a co owner and co founder of counting stars Ranch. It is a 76 acre ranch for veterans and first responders. Um they have you know, great retreats on the weekend for veterans and first responders to come out there and and uh reconnect to uh mother nature and participate in some in some just good camaraderie and fellowship and and uh and a real peaceful setting. Uh and I can say that from personal experience because I've been there And I just I just love it out there, it's it's fantastic. So welcome back Vicki to the men on a mission podcast for part two and we uh we left off with just a couple of questions I wanted, I know that you guys have um four wheeler trails, we have a T. V. Trails. If a first responder or veteran has an ATV is it okay if they bring it out with them?

Yes. Um so most of our trails are better adapted for walking, there's miles and miles of walking trails, but my husband has been widening some of the trails and so we do have an area that is um you can uh you know get around with a T. V. S. And we're right near Barnwell Mountain which is uh you know an outdoor recreation vehicle park. And so a lot of our guests um spend time over at the RV park on the weekends, then come stay with us at the bed and breakfast and so at this point we do have a course a waiver to sign if you're going to be you know writing uh a tv on the property etcetera just for legal issues. But hopefully that will get developed more over time. But yes some great trails in some fun areas to ride. And then if you're really adventurous, the O. R. V. Park has over 1000 acres and it's just right down the road so that would be available to for anyone interested with the A.

T. V. Trails you know um that's completely understandable that they have to sign a waiver. And I know that you know there's there we've been on the trails and I know that that's you know for some vets they don't really have a lot of places to ride them um Or they can't really afford, there's a there's an A. T. V. Park, a big one that I that I've worked at. Um It's down south of Tyler and it's called River Run. And uh but the fees are like pretty high to go down there for a weekend at river run but it's it's a huge a tv you know um and you have a lot of other you know traffic, you have a lot of other a TVs you're competing with, we're out there, it's a little more peaceful, a little more serene and and uh you know it's really relaxing so that would be available and you brought up like meals. Tell the listeners a little bit about now. How, how do the meals work, What do they bring with them to the retreat as far as the breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Um, and our most meals cooked outside. Yeah, yeah. So we do, um, for our retreat weekends, we provide the dinner the friday night that they arrive. Uh, then the following day breakfast, lunch and dinner and our saturday evening meal is typically a volunteer meal. We do sort of barbecue style dinner. And so that is outdoor weather permitting. Otherwise we do it in our, in our barn and that is a group meal. We ask for volunteers from our community, other veterans organizations, local churches often come in for that to help us serve depending on the size of the group for the retreat. And it allows some time for just an additional community building. Um, time with other vets. It's always a good time for a lot of laughs and it gets our local volunteers involved and they really enjoy giving back to our vets and first responders.

So, um, that is also available. If people are interested in volunteering, they can go to the counting stars web page and just where they would apply. They can just about basically applied to be a volunteered. We would just go through and some basic questions and all of our volunteers have to be willing just to do a background check and we, it's a real simple process and then, um, we invite them out to the ranch and sign them up for weekends for volunteering. So, um, that's a lot of fun. And another opportunity to get people involved. Yeah, that sounds great. So if I understand correctly, a first responder, him, her or his family or a veteran that comes to the retreat, they don't have to stop at Berkshire's or stop at walmart and load up a bunch of food. Yeah, it's all provided.

So that's part of, uh, we asked for donations and do a lot of fundraising. People can get involved by donating at the same website. Um, and so it's an all, um, local nonprofit that asked for volunteer involvement from the community. Some of the local service organizations and individuals have donated funds to be able to purchase all basically the rent on the building for the weekend, all the food while they're there. And um, so that is all provided. So they basically just have to bring themselves good shoes that they can walk and fishing and um, uh, come with a good attitude and ready to relax and have a good time. So they really don't have to bring anything. Everything is provided. The, both the cabin and the bunk room have all the bedding in sheets and towels, everything that you would need. So they are pretty well outfitted. Well, that, that sounds fantastic.

And my next point is if you get anybody that cancels between now and the end of the year, you have my number put forward to having you all out. I hope that happens. But not uh, not for the individuals that miss, but we would love to have you out. So Absolutely yeah, it's yeah, we, we plan on visiting again. Uh, I really believe in what, what you're doing. Um it's right in line with with what I'm involved with. Um and the things that I'm doing in the Tyler texas market along with everything that I have going on on the website. So, um, I think it's, it's just great. Um, now when it comes to like demographics, um, does like currently the retreats are booked through the end of the year. Um how far away are some of these first responders or veterans coming from? I'm just curious that just popped into my head and maybe maybe the listeners are thinking, you know, because I have listeners all throughout the country obviously and they're like, hey, we could, we could go to texas.

This sounds like a really great place. So the people that have applied and that are attending the retreat, are they all local or do you have people coming from a little ways away? So the, we have a fear of fairly large draw from outside Dallas Fort Worth area. So, um, I did some, you know, uh, I guess the marketing in that area. And so most of our veterans are from the city. I think that a lot of the locals have their outlets already, that kind of have their hunting fishing groups and have kind of found some niches for their outdoor activity. And so it seems like we're pulling from more metropolitan areas where people don't have as much access to, you know, their outdoor activities. And I think um, that right now that seems to be where we're getting most of our folks from. But we do have like one gentleman is coming from Big Sandy, so not far away at all. So, uh, some grown folks and some a little bit farther out.

But uh, so we would definitely be open. We don't fly people in for the weekends. We don't have funds yet for that type of uh, you know, outreach for a national group. But I think as it grows, um, I think we could definitely um, you know, make some of those things available. We did have one gentleman from California reach out to us and we told them we would love to have him, but he'd have to provide his travel to texas. And so, um, hopefully uh, there may be an opportunity to do some um, you know, airfare down the road depending on the generosity from our our our volunteers and our donators. Well, you, you read my mind because I was thinking um, the way things are going in texas, you may have a lot of vets from California that are now Texans or you may have a lot of vets from new york who are also now Texans. Um We are getting a lot of people moving to moving to texas and and a lot of those people are our vets.

So uh, if you are in a state other than texas, which a lot of my listeners are um, hey, think about moving to texas and then you can, you can apply for a fantastic retreat, getaway weekend at County Stars Ranch. Uh and and uh that would be our way of welcome welcoming you to our big state describing the state of mind flying and driving. We can definitely make room for them if they need to get away. So it's definitely not just for Texans, but that seems to be where so far we're getting most of our applications from. Okay, well, it's an open invitation to all the listeners out there. Uh and uh you know, family members that are listening. Uh if if you're um man or woman, if you're a man or woman, soldier, um hasn't had a chance to listen to the podcast, Tell him, tell him about counting stars ranch or city texas, it's in, it's in east texas and it's pretty, pretty darn close to Longview.

Uh and that's right on interstate 20 it's really easy to find. Um Put your finger on Dallas and the other finger on Shreveport and follow 20 and you'll you'll come right, you'll come right across longview in Tyler texas and it's right in that area. So um in the last few minutes of uh of the podcast, it's what really, really fast and I appreciate you being on the podcast, giving us all this information um for folks that want more information, you have a lot more information and more details on the website. So check the show notes for that. But let me and the listeners know going forward um what kind of pictures, what kind of vision do you see? Um what could this become? And just kind of give us kind of a sense of of of where you want it to go and I know being married, that's not necessarily maybe where Dave wants it to go. Uh you know, because that's that's part of part of marriage, but um you're on the podcast with me tonight.

Uh and and Dave can be on another time I suppose. Um but uh yeah, just kind of let me know, you know, I mean if if if all your dreams came true and everything um Was fulfilled to, you know, to to your your wishes, tell me what it looks like five years from now or 10 years from now. So um counting stars Ranch me has been just such a great place to get away unwinds into um the stress and uh I do, you know, talks and women's retreats on stress management and uh living stress free. And so the ranch has been kind of um my dream to do sort of a retreat center hold workshops and kind of build on the counseling side. And so um where David would like to partner with some of the local um veterans organizations that train service dogs and be able to grow uh that side of things where he could have weekends and doing training sessions with veterans and their dogs because he is the dog person.

Um My focus will be on holding retreats for veterans that are suffering from more invisible injuries, the pTSD and closed head injuries and other anxiety conditions. Be able to work on couples communication and do workshops for couples and other related burnout and stress related conditions for the general um uh population as well as veterans and their families. So for me um increasing the counseling side of services and being able to broaden that partnering with local um psychologists and counselors and then also uh kind of add the dog handling services. Um Dave would kind of take on that. And So we would love to grow the ranch and um someday have up to 10 cabins Um hold weekly um week long retreats and be able to dive in more into some of that ongoing mental health issues that our veterans are struggling with.

So that's my vision for the next 5 to 10 years. Yeah, that sounds fantastic. Um I just got let me see, we we changed our schedule, I just had to pop up saying you're starting a zoom meeting and 15 minutes, it's like, nope, we started early so I had to get rid of that. But yeah, that I mean I'm completely with you on on that vision and and that idea um kind of a one stop shop where you can heal your mind and your heart and uh and do a little, you know, self analyzing and learning more about yourself. But in but in doing so you're doing it in a setting that safe, peaceful, serene, surrounded by, you know, um your service animal or horses or birds or fishing and and and having um having the, the side that Dave, you know, is bringing to it and we'll be bringing forward uh is more the physical aspect uh you know, and the the kind of the exercising the body and you're exercising the mind and I think that's that's perfect putting those together.

Um I think I asked you or I might have even asked Dave about this, What about um there's a couple of archery groups that have a lot of veterans involved in the Tyler market and I don't know, is David, does he like archery or is that something that that he has done bow hunting and both fishing. So he he has enjoyed that in the past. So um definitely um we have lots of open area. So I think that that's the neat thing about business, um, learning about and partner with other local veterans organizations if they have a group that's already getting together to do some of these things, we can definitely, you know, talk about partnering, having place where they can come and do it overnight retreat and then if there's, you know, kind of specific needs depending on each of the individual groups, we have a lot of flexibility to be able to kind of adapt and work with other groups. So as it grows, I can definitely see uh embracing and having some of those people with other veterans organizations doing things like archery.

Um, I know there's a lot of outdoor adventure groups that are veteran um sponsored. So we look forward to kind of hearing about what other people are doing and seeing how we can part as well. Right. Well the thing is um, I think one of the biggest advantages or, or or the neatest thing that I see with counting stars Ranch is there are a lot of veteran organizations that are out there or veterans groups. Um, some of them are, some of the groups are really small or, or they're part of a church community or they're part of, you know, um, just local, smaller groups, but they don't have the resources to expand bigger, you know, or to explore, explore bigger ideas and you guys have that room. Um, you have a lot of air space, you know out there. Uh, yeah, to expand, so I think that is, that is really great. Um, we're gonna, we're right down to the very end.

It went by really fast. But uh, what, what would be some, you know, some thoughts here, right at the end here, like your, your closing, your closing statement or your closing points that you'd like to make um, for the listeners to the podcast. So we just invite all veterans and first responders out to the bed and breakfast. We do discount any weekend. So, um, that's also on the main web page for counting stars France. So we would love to have uh, everyone else to come to our facility. Anyone interested in one of our weekends for R and R weekends by online. We're excited to see what you know, is in store for us as far as our non profit and we appreciate all of those that are interested in donating so that we can make all of this available to our veterans and first responders. So just thank you brad for having me on and the opportunity to share our vision and our dreams with your podcast viewers.

Well, you're, you're very welcome. It was my pleasure to have you on the podcast. Um, I just, I want to encourage, you know, the listeners to, to check it out if uh, if you are in a state outside of texas, you can always pass on this podcast, please, you know, share, like, and subscribe. Everybody says the exact same thing. You know, make sure you click that little bell icon and yada yada yada. And, but, but I have to say it because it's, it's, you know, it's part of it. So share like and subscribe but definitely passed this podcast on to someone that um, can find this beneficial. I think it is a, it's a great place. I know I'm not just taking Vicky's word for it. I've been there, done that and it and it is just, it's awesome. It's an awesome place. So, um, we're gonna wrap up and uh, all you, all of your contact information, you know, the links will be in the show notes.

So check that out. It will also be on the blog and we will have this episode on Youtube in a day or two. So I really appreciate you being on the podcast. Great information. I'm excited to go out there and um, I already know what to expect, you know, because, um, but I'm excited to go back out for another visit because it's really a great place. So, um, all the listeners to the podcast. Check out counting stars ranch or city texas, click on the link in the show notes and reach out to Vicky. They have a lot of things going on. There's volunteer opportunities and um, they are definitely welcoming, very, um, uh, kind people and, and they are just need people to hang out with. So, and, and sometimes it's hard in our world today to find neat people to hang out with. Sometimes there are few and far between these folks are awesome.

So check it out And uh, and thank you Vicky. I appreciate you being on the, on the podcast. Thanks brad. You're very welcome. I'm going to end like I always do make sure you take care of your little me, love them, protect them and they need you more than you can imagine. Just take care of yourself and love yourself. And until we come back with another episode of the Men on a Mission podcast. Bye for now for the right and to build the nation's pipe and the army was rolling along. Well all we have done fight until about his wife, the army controlling the ball and it's high time. The army is on his way held off the cases on the stone away ego. You will always know that the army controlling. Mhm From the halls of monsters who love to the shores of Tripoli, you find our country's battles in the air on you can see firstly fine for right and free to come and to keep our honored please.

You're proud to leave. Not, I hope not. Okay, goes away my boys was so bad farewell to college towards me. Say that out day through our last night. Sure tree through the home until we meet once more. His wishes four. Yeah. Mm A time. Yeah. Remember. Yeah. Wait.

Episode #55, Special Guest, Dr. Vicki Smithers from Counting Stars Ranch, a Veteran and 1st Responder Non-profit Retreat!
Episode #55, Special Guest, Dr. Vicki Smithers from Counting Stars Ranch, a Veteran and 1st Responder Non-profit Retreat!
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