1983 Was a big year for me. That was the year I turned 15 and left home to attend New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM. It is and was a place filled with some of the most amazing people. So many of those that have passed through those halls have left to become super successful in the world. Well, there is no better example than LTC Scott Robison.
Scott came to NMMI from Durango, CO., in 1984. He was a super athlete with unbeatable cardio and a never-quit spirit. Those things combined with his patriotism and love of his fellow soldiers got him through Special Forces training and Ranger School. He earned his Green Beret, although he rarely wore it so he wouldn’t stand out. Scott has been where we don’t want to go so that we can be where we are now. It is because of so many like him that we enjoy the life we live in the US.
During his career, Scott met and married his wife Jen, who is a full bird Colonel and still in the Army. They ended up at Fort Hood where Scott retired and bought some land. Ultimately he ended up with horses and cattle and a slew of businesses and properties that have kept him more than busy in his retirement. Scott and Jen have 3 children, 18 year old Lane, 15 year old Landon and 11 year old Lulu. By the way, Lane is headed to Heartland Horseshoeing School this summer to gain some farrier skills. All the kids have been super athletes, which is expected when your dad is Scott Robison.
I mentioned Scott’s love of his fellow soldiers. This hasn’t stopped when he left the uniform behind, and much of what Scott now does involves helping those veterans that need help so much right now. There is a famous quote that the internet credits to Ronald Reagan, “There is nothing as good for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.” That has never been proven truer than when you see what a horse can do for a veteran. Being with and working with horses has calmed the spirit and demons that plague so many of our current vets.
Seeing this led Scott to start program known as Camp Cowboy. It is free to any vet, and they are each given a broke horse and an untrained horse to work with over the course of 90 days. The broke horse teaches them, and the vets teach their colts. The hope is that this will produce marketable skills for the vets as well as a vehicle to deal with their PTSD. While the program is still in its infancy, there are some early successes.
US Army veteran Tony Cole is the main man that runs Camp Cowboy. Coming from Alabama, Tony has an easy to listen to southern accent and a true love of horses. The horse saved him when he came back to the states so he has first hand experience with what they are trying to accomplish. He discovered what the horse could do for him by chance, and Camp Cowboy is a way to help other vets find peace.
This led to my heading down to do a clinic at Robison’s Ranch for Camp Cowboy. It was a free clinic for vets and soldiers. Todd Walker set up stuff from Walker Farrier Supply, LLC., out of Johnson City, Texas. Jim Poor from Flatland Forge donated an incredible ladder-pattern damascus knife that Kelly Vermeer Vella from California bought for $2000 that went straight to Camp Cowboy. During my time with Scott, he took me to visit the Horse Calvary Detachment at Fort Hood. It is run by veteran, Donald Davis, Stablemaster and saddle maker. It is an incredible place to visit for a horseman, and I would say that this is a great life for a horse and a soldier. Mr. Davis brought several soldiers to the clinic from the detachment. All in all, it was a fantastic time and I think the beginning of something bigger and better that will end up being a big thing for veterans.
While this first clinic wasn’t huge, I do think some seeds were planted that are going to grow. When you see first hand what these Americans have sacrificed for us, it is humbling and really makes you want to do something to give back. Thanks Scott, Tony and Camp Cowboy, and I look forward to a long future together.