About Gathering of Mountain Eagles
We Help Wounded Or Injured Americans
Gathering of Mountain Eagles (GME) is a non-profit charity that provides opportunities for Americans to share their recreational resources with wounded or injured Americans and selected family members.
The concept of “adventure therapy” challenges military (active, reserve, National Guard, retired, service separated and selected associated) members and spouses with activities such as whitewater rafting, skiing, mountain biking, ropes courses, golf, etc. to help in their physical and psychological recovery.
Browse our Events page to learn more about our Mountain Eagle gatherings.
Our Therapeutic & Relaxation Opportunities in West Virginia
In addition, the wounded Mountain Eagles and their families will benefit from entertainment and relaxation opportunities such as musical performances, concert performances, college football and basketball games including typical game day “tailgate” parties, scenic train tours, historical tours, fishing, golf, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and canoeing, etc. to assist the healing processes.
The purpose of the organization is summarized in the name “Gathering of Mountain Eagles:”
- Gathering – what we do to bring combat wounded or injured Americans and spouses together for therapeutic activities to assist in their recovery
- Mountain – where we will bring them to enjoy the recreational resources and appreciative people of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia
- Eagles – what we call American military personnel who have been wounded or injured during the period of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or other areas in the war on terrorism
Gathering of Mountain Eagles also provides a chance for Americans to express their gratitude to those who have given and suffered so much for our protection and freedom. By raising awareness of the needs of wounded and injured military personnel and their spouses, Gathering of Mountain Eagles will enhance the support already being provided by other organizations.
The Gathering of Mountain Eagles mission is to provide opportunities for wounded or injured American military service members and spouses, to enjoy the therapeutic effects of adventure activities and relaxation opportunities primarily within the states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Secondarily, it provides occasions to thank the warriors, enhance public awareness and increase aid for all programs supporting those wounded and injured Americans and spouses.
- Establish an efficient, caring and proactive non-profit foundation to help combat wounded military personnel and selected family members.
- Establish a fundraising network to make a “Gathering of Mountain Eagles” completely free to wounded veterans and their selected family members.
- Establish a network of volunteers to organize and conduct “Gatherings.” Paid staff will be added only as deemed necessary by the “Gathering of Mountain Eagles” Board of Directors.
- Conduct at least two “Gatherings” per year (fall and winter) in the first two years. Additional “Gatherings” can be added as funding becomes available to increase the reach of the foundation among wounded service personnel.
- Raise awareness and support in America for the needs of combat wounded military personnel and selected family members.
We Care for Mountain Eagles by providing opportunities to:
- Communicate and interact with others
- Acquire and support new friendships
- Resolve to take risks to overcome problems
- Encourage positive attitudes
- Motivate others to succeed
- Try just about anything
- Never give up
- Educate about future opportunities
- Appreciate our wounded warriors
- Gain new perspectives on the future
- Lead and support others
- Enhance life-coping skills
- Support and strengthen families
Forrest (Woody) Aurentz – Executive Director
Paul Zerkow – Deputy Executive Director
Janet K. Aurentz – Treasurer
Mike Bennett – Secretary
Amy Dearborn – Webmaster
Dave Soczka – Mountain Eagles Coordinator (Military Units & Assoc.)
Board of Directors
Donald W. Richardson – Chairman, Board of Directors
Forrest (Woody) Aurentz – Member, Board of Directors
Michael C. Bennett – Member, Board of Directors
Paul Zerkow – Member, Board of Directors
Janet K. Aurentz – Member, Board of Directors
Gerry Cummins – Member, Board of Directors
Ken Parks – Member, Board of Directors
Ron Newton – Member, Board of Directors
John Proellochs – Member, Board of Directors
Executive Advisory Council
General Gary Luck, US Army (Retired)
Lt. Gen. Michael Canavan, US Army (Retired)
Ed Dyer, Brigadier General, US Army (Retired)
Lindsay Hammond, PhD, West Virginia University