FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a frequently asked question to view the answer.

Back in the Saddle FAQ (13)

What is the difference between a wounded and injured service member?

The military defines these terms differently. If the soldier is hurt in an accident while here at home, it’s called an injury. If the soldier is hurt while in a battle or war, it’s called wounded. That is also the term if the soldier is in a car accident while overseas.

Does Heartbeat help both wounded and injured soldiers?

Most of our programs are for both wounded and injured.

Why do you help only the wounded? Don’t others need your help too?

All warriors and their families deserve our time and appreciation. Many organizations serve both wounded and non-wounded. We did at one time too. We realized that we could serve more wounded warriors if we focused completely on them.

How do the soldiers feel about the help Heartbeat provides?

Wounded warriors often send words of appreciation. They’re families are grateful too. Sometimes they write letters. Sometimes they tell us in person. They let us know the huge impact our programs have on their lives.

What is Back in the Saddle Warriors®?

Back in the Saddle Warriors is Heartbeat’s clinical and evidence based Equine Assisted Therapy which consists of Hippotherapy .

For Wounded Warriors who were part of GWOT and include OIF/OEF who are either out of the Military including any branch  or still in but wounded in WA state, A Physical Therapist who has completed both levels of American Hippotherapy and PATH Instructors, Volunteers are also used as sidewalkers.

These evidence-based therapies improve muscle strength, psychological well-being, motor development, balance, and coordination. Therapy addresses many injuries including

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Speech injuries
  • Loss of limbs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

What is hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is an equine-assisted therapy. The warrior sits on the horse and uses its movement as a physical therapy. This isn’t horseback riding as we usually think of it.

Licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists provide this treatment. While the warrior sits on the horse, the therapist guides the animal and makes changes in its movements. The warrior’s health goals determine how and when these changes are made.

Hippotherapy providers have training approved by the American Hippotherapy Association. The therapy team includes horse trainers certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International).

How does hippotherapy work?

Horses and humans have something in common, a pelvis that works the same way. Both have identical hip movements when walking. While sitting on a moving horse, this allows a person’s body parts to move naturally. It strengthens muscle groups.

Even for someone without injuries, staying upright on a horse requires balance, coordination, and muscle strength. War injuries sometimes affect these abilities. Hippotherapy may help wounded warriors make improvements not achieved with other treatments.

How does equine-assisted therapy help emotionally?

Warriors are natural protectors. It’s their job to take charge and perform brave acts every day. Injuries sometimes make it impossible to contribute any longer. It dramatically changes the warrior’s role — in the family, in the job, and in society.

The relationship between human and horse is a special one. Horses, gentle and sensitive, have a unique ability to sense human emotions. This special bond helps warriors work through difficult issues.

Hippotherapy help wounded warriors find newfound strength. This success contributes to positive, lifelong changes. In turn, this affects family and society.

How does a wounded warrior qualify for help?

Almost anyone can make the first call to Heartbeat to get help — warrior, family member, or provider. After the warrior’s health care provider approves treatment, we can offer the service. The provider can be an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, or doctor.

Who qualifies to be in our clinical hippotherapy program?

At this time we only serve Wounded or Injured from Vietnam forward to include GWOT which includes OIF and OEF in Washington State.

Who pays for equine-assisted therapy?

As with all our programs and services, donations are the only source of support for Back in the Saddle Warriors. We offer services free to our heroes.

Our brave, wounded warriors sustained their injuries while they defended our freedom and way of life. They put their lives on the line for complete strangers. Heartbeat firmly believes all of us owe it to our heroes to help them heal.

Where do I go for therapy?

Please e-mail or call Heartbeat for information about locations.

How can I volunteer?

At this time, Scuba Warriors serves wounded GWOT Warriors in WA State.  IF you are a wounded warrior in another state, you are welcome to be in this program, BUT, unfortunately,  we do not have funds for travel and lodging.

Heartbeat received a seed grant from Infinite Hero Foundation to start a limited Scuba Warrior expansion to our courageous wounded Marines  in NC and Wounded Warrior Regiment East at Camp Lejeune. It IS the Vision of Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® to take Scuba Warriors Nationally.

1.    IF you are a dive shop or Dive Instructor that would like to be involved in Scuba Warriors in your state please contact us.   IF you are a Dive Master or Dive Con certified and want to volunteer, please contact us.

2.   IF you are a wounded warrior in a moderate to heavy military populated state and would like to see Scuba Warriors there, please contact us. IF you are a Command that would like to see Scuba Warriors come to you for your wounded warriors, please contact us.

3.   Finally, even though our VISION is to take Scuba Warriors Nationally, we Can Not do this without YOUR HELP.

4.   Please consider making a single donation or monthly donation to allow us to make Scuba Warriors Outreach a viable reality! DONATE HERE.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of these courageous Warriors that have given so much for our country!

Donations FAQ (4)

Can I donate though a trust or will?

Yes. Planned giving through trusts and wills ensures that your assets go towards military families. Please e-mail Janice Buckley, president, or call (425) 931-1047 for information.

How does my donation help wounded warriors and their families?

You can make a real difference in the lives of our brave military families in Washington state. Your generous financial support allows Heartbeat to provide life-changing services for them when they need it. Please show our warriors how much you appreciate their daily sacrifices.

While many nonprofit organizations have administrative costs greater than 30 percent, Heartbeat operates at no more than 12 percent. Your donations support all of our programs and services.

Are all donations tax-deductible?

Yes, donations to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are tax deductible as allowed by law. We recommend you talk with a tax advisor about your situation.

Does all the money to operate Heartbeat come from donations?

Yes. We could not exist without our generous donors.

General FAQ (11)

Who pays for the services?

Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® can offer this healing service to wounded warriors free because of our generous donors.

Our brave, wounded warriors sustained their injuries while they defended our freedom and way of life. They put their lives on the line for complete strangers. Heartbeat and its supporters firmly believe we owe it to our heroes and their brave families to help them heal.

Are you a health care organization?

Heartbeat is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that serves wounded warriors and their families many ways. Our programs are healing to our heroes, but we are not a health care facility.

Does all the money to operate Heartbeat come from donations?

Yes. We could not exist without our generous donors.

How do you get enough money for some of the expensive programs?

Our staff and volunteers spends time on different fundraising efforts.

With so few paid staff, how can you accomplish so much?

Heartbeat has a large, dedicated group of volunteers. They bring many talents with them — we’re eternally grateful to them. Equally important is their commitment to show appreciation to our brave warriors.

What is the difference between a wounded and injured service member?

The military defines these terms differently. If the soldier is hurt in an accident while here at home, it’s called an injury. If the soldier is hurt while in a battle or war, it’s called wounded. That is also the term if the soldier is in a car accident while overseas.

Does Heartbeat help both wounded and injured soldiers?

Most of our programs are for both wounded and injured.

Does Heartbeat have plans for other programs?

We remain open to new ideas that help our wounded heroes. Our focus is on their greatest needs. Of course, finances always play a part in our ability to run a program.

Why do you help only the wounded? Don’t others need your help too?

All warriors and their families deserve our time and appreciation. Many organizations serve both wounded and non-wounded. We did at one time too. We realized that we could serve more wounded warriors if we focused completely on them.

How do the soldiers feel about the help Heartbeat provides?

Wounded warriors often send words of appreciation. They’re families are grateful too. Sometimes they write letters. Sometimes they tell us in person. They let us know the huge impact our programs have on their lives.

How can I volunteer?

At this time, Scuba Warriors serves wounded GWOT Warriors in WA State.  IF you are a wounded warrior in another state, you are welcome to be in this program, BUT, unfortunately,  we do not have funds for travel and lodging.

Heartbeat received a seed grant from Infinite Hero Foundation to start a limited Scuba Warrior expansion to our courageous wounded Marines  in NC and Wounded Warrior Regiment East at Camp Lejeune. It IS the Vision of Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® to take Scuba Warriors Nationally.

1.    IF you are a dive shop or Dive Instructor that would like to be involved in Scuba Warriors in your state please contact us.   IF you are a Dive Master or Dive Con certified and want to volunteer, please contact us.

2.   IF you are a wounded warrior in a moderate to heavy military populated state and would like to see Scuba Warriors there, please contact us. IF you are a Command that would like to see Scuba Warriors come to you for your wounded warriors, please contact us.

3.   Finally, even though our VISION is to take Scuba Warriors Nationally, we Can Not do this without YOUR HELP.

4.   Please consider making a single donation or monthly donation to allow us to make Scuba Warriors Outreach a viable reality! DONATE HERE.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of these courageous Warriors that have given so much for our country!

K9 Healing Warriors (5)

How do the soldiers feel about the help Heartbeat provides?

Wounded warriors often send words of appreciation. They’re families are grateful too. Sometimes they write letters. Sometimes they tell us in person. They let us know the huge impact our programs have on their lives.

Why do you help only the wounded? Don’t others need your help too?

All warriors and their families deserve our time and appreciation. Many organizations serve both wounded and non-wounded. We did at one time too. We realized that we could serve more wounded warriors if we focused completely on them.

Does Heartbeat help both wounded and injured soldiers?

Most of our programs are for both wounded and injured.

What is the difference between a wounded and injured service member?

The military defines these terms differently. If the soldier is hurt in an accident while here at home, it’s called an injury. If the soldier is hurt while in a battle or war, it’s called wounded. That is also the term if the soldier is in a car accident while overseas.

How can I volunteer?

At this time, Scuba Warriors serves wounded GWOT Warriors in WA State.  IF you are a wounded warrior in another state, you are welcome to be in this program, BUT, unfortunately,  we do not have funds for travel and lodging.

Heartbeat received a seed grant from Infinite Hero Foundation to start a limited Scuba Warrior expansion to our courageous wounded Marines  in NC and Wounded Warrior Regiment East at Camp Lejeune. It IS the Vision of Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® to take Scuba Warriors Nationally.

1.    IF you are a dive shop or Dive Instructor that would like to be involved in Scuba Warriors in your state please contact us.   IF you are a Dive Master or Dive Con certified and want to volunteer, please contact us.

2.   IF you are a wounded warrior in a moderate to heavy military populated state and would like to see Scuba Warriors there, please contact us. IF you are a Command that would like to see Scuba Warriors come to you for your wounded warriors, please contact us.

3.   Finally, even though our VISION is to take Scuba Warriors Nationally, we Can Not do this without YOUR HELP.

4.   Please consider making a single donation or monthly donation to allow us to make Scuba Warriors Outreach a viable reality! DONATE HERE.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of these courageous Warriors that have given so much for our country!

Scuba Warriors FAQ (14)

Who pays for the services?

Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® can offer this healing service to wounded warriors free because of our generous donors.

Our brave, wounded warriors sustained their injuries while they defended our freedom and way of life. They put their lives on the line for complete strangers. Heartbeat and its supporters firmly believe we owe it to our heroes and their brave families to help them heal.

What is Scuba Warriors®?

Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® pays for therapeutic scuba diving for wounded service members of GWOT, the Global War on Terrorism. We call this program Scuba Warriors. Warriors with physical or psychological injuries, or both, can benefit from this healing activity.

Our generous donors support all Heartbeat programs and services.

Scuba Warriors Information (PDF)

Why is Scuba Warriors® free to wounded warriors?

Our brave, wounded warriors sustained their injuries while they defended our freedom and way of life. They put their lives on the line for complete strangers. Heartbeat and its supporters firmly believe we owe it to our heroes and their brave families to help them heal.

Who qualifies to be in our classes we offer at no charge?

Any Wounded or Injured Warrior from Vietnam forward to include GWOT (Global War on Terror to include the first Gulf War) which includes OIF and OEF, that was wounded or injured in combat or training. PTSD is a qualified injury. Scuba Warriors is located IN WA state. If you are a wounded warrior OUTSIDE of WA and can afford to pay to pay for travel and their board can come. At this time we can not afford to pay for travel. When that changes the website will reflect that.

What is the difference between a wounded and injured service member?

The military defines these terms differently. If the soldier is hurt in an accident while here at home, it’s called an injury. If the soldier is hurt while in a battle or war, it’s called wounded. That is also the term if the soldier is in a car accident while overseas.

Does Heartbeat help both wounded and injured soldiers?

Most of our programs are for both wounded and injured.

Why do you help only the wounded? Don’t others need your help too?

All warriors and their families deserve our time and appreciation. Many organizations serve both wounded and non-wounded. We did at one time too. We realized that we could serve more wounded warriors if we focused completely on them.

How do the soldiers feel about the help Heartbeat provides?

Wounded warriors often send words of appreciation. They’re families are grateful too. Sometimes they write letters. Sometimes they tell us in person. They let us know the huge impact our programs have on their lives.

What is therapeutic scuba diving?

Therapeutic scuba diving is an activity that helps patients improve muscle strength, mobility, cardiovascular strength, blood flow, confidence, and psychological well-being. It decreases pain significantly. This popular, rehabilitative activity has produced positive results for many years.

Scuba diving professionals use therapeutic diving for many injuries: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), limb loss, and spinal cord injuries are just a few.

Certified and experienced scuba diving professionals work with wounded warriors’ health care providers—doctors and licensed physical, occupational, and speech therapists—to ensure the best results for each individual. The diving professionals have experience working with the wounded.

How does therapeutic scuba diving work?

Therapeutic scuba diving is a unique healing activity because water reduces the forces of gravity, which are hard on the body. Water offers a weightless and cushioning environment that gently supports muscles and limbs. This allows patients to use body parts previously too painful to move—injuries seem to disappear. This offers a liberation not found on land.

At the same time that water is gentle on the body, it also presents some resistance to movement, as anyone who has swum under water knows. For wounded warriors, this is an opportunity to increase muscle strength with less pain.

In the Scuba Warriors program, adaptive equipment is available for patients who need extra support. Supervisors provide underwater guidance for added safety.

What are the benefits of therapeutic scuba diving?

Heartbeat’s therapeutic scuba diving can help wounded warriors improve many areas of their health:

  • Motor skills
  • Muscle strength
  • Blood flow
  • Cardiovascular strength
  • Pain reduction
  • Mobility
  • Psychological well-being
  • Confidence

Changes in water pressure sometimes move shrapnel to a safer place in the body for surgical removal. Sometimes it even leaves the body on its own.

How does therapeutic scuba diving help emotionally?

Painful, major injuries dramatically change warriors’ roles in their jobs, in their families, and in society. Sometimes they can no longer contribute. This is devastating to natural protectors, who push themselves to extremes, take charge, and perform courageous acts daily. One result is isolation.

Scuba diving, unlike many therapeutic activities, requires a buddy system. This social side of diving fights the long-term, damaging effects of social separation.

The underwater environment is also an opportunity for wounded warriors to realize how capable they are. Disabilities seem to disappear as they experience pain-free movement for the first time. The wounded warrior’s newfound success contributes to positive, lifelong changes. Everyone benefits: warrior, family, and society.

How does someone qualify for help?

A wounded warrior qualifies for Heartbeat’s Scuba Warriors program when a health care provider approves this course of treatment for the individual patient. The provider—an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, or doctor—must be familiar with the service member’s case.

The provider completes an approval form and sends it to Heartbeat. A wounded warrior, family member, or provider can make the initial call to Heartbeat.

The Scuba Warrior program is open to all GWOT Wounded Warriors free of charge. We are located in WA state. If you are OUTSIDE WA state you would still be welcome to come to the program,I am sorry, at this time we can not afford to pay for travel though.

How can I volunteer?

At this time, Scuba Warriors serves wounded GWOT Warriors in WA State.  IF you are a wounded warrior in another state, you are welcome to be in this program, BUT, unfortunately,  we do not have funds for travel and lodging.

Heartbeat received a seed grant from Infinite Hero Foundation to start a limited Scuba Warrior expansion to our courageous wounded Marines  in NC and Wounded Warrior Regiment East at Camp Lejeune. It IS the Vision of Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors® to take Scuba Warriors Nationally.

1.    IF you are a dive shop or Dive Instructor that would like to be involved in Scuba Warriors in your state please contact us.   IF you are a Dive Master or Dive Con certified and want to volunteer, please contact us.

2.   IF you are a wounded warrior in a moderate to heavy military populated state and would like to see Scuba Warriors there, please contact us. IF you are a Command that would like to see Scuba Warriors come to you for your wounded warriors, please contact us.

3.   Finally, even though our VISION is to take Scuba Warriors Nationally, we Can Not do this without YOUR HELP.

4.   Please consider making a single donation or monthly donation to allow us to make Scuba Warriors Outreach a viable reality! DONATE HERE.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of these courageous Warriors that have given so much for our country!

Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors®: Let the Healing Begin...®