Heroes And Horses


Making better Programs for Veterans

In 2014, Micah Fink, CEO/Founder of Heroes and Horses, was trying to get the program off the ground. He was $24,500 in debt, had invested his entire life savings into his mission, was blindsided by horse thieves (actual fact), and had too many questions and not enough answers.

He was driving through Wyoming, en route to his home base in Belgrade, Montana, when hemet Rod Fraser, steel manufacturer. Some like-minded spirit drew the two together and Fraser offered to buy Fink a beer. As they were leaving the truck stop, Fraser asked Fink if he could pet one of the horses and Micah said sure. As they were walking across the parking lot, Fraser turned to him and said, “You’re the worst non-profit guy I’ve ever met. We’ve been talking this whole time and you never once asked me for money.”

They stopped to pet the horses and then Fraser went back to his truck and got something out of the cab. He came back and handed Micah a folded over piece of paper. They shook hands and Fraser drove away. Micah sat down in his truck and was getting ready to start the ignition when he looked down at the paper. It was a check for $25,000 – and for the first time in well over a decade – Micah Fink started to cry.

Today, Fraser remains one of the Heroes and Horses (HH) foundation donors. Heroes and Horses has expanded to a new 3,500 acre ranch in southwestern Montana, with 68 horses and an established 41-day rehabilitation and human development program for combat Veterans. Micah sat down the other day to talk with the Land Broker Co-op about the history of the Heroes and Horses program, and their current capital campaign focused on improving the ranch to fulfill the goal of helping Veterans reveal their true inner selves. The campaign is set to kick off onOctober 23rd, 2021, with a Ryan Bingham concert at the Kimpton Armory in Bozeman, Montana.

Land Broker Co-op: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, Micah. Can you tell us a little bit about your history and how you came to start Heroes and Horses?

Micah: I was a lineman for the telephone company and about 60 feet up on a telephone pole when the first plane hit on September 11, 2001. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I drove into the city with a buddy of mine, and I wanted to do something to help, so the next day I joined the Navy Seals. I was a tough kid who grew up without a lot and had been working my whole life, but this was a whole new experience. I graduated 13th out of 157 and immediately deployed overseas.

Over the course of 13 tours, Micah spent a total of 1,100 days in a combat war zone.

When I finally retired from the military in 2013, I was coming apart at the seams. My wife picked me up at the airport and she was crying and said, “you’re just so intense.” I went out in the woods and was hiking in the back country and ended up meeting some guys. They were thieves and drunks, but I learned a lot from them about horses – I was shoeing horses before I even knew how to ride. I invited some buddies out who were going through the same thing I was, and I noticed a huge change in for them over the course of two weeks in the backcountry. And that was where the idea for the program started…

24 vets are killing themselves a day, and two out of six veterans are on psychiatric medicines.

Land Broker Co-op: You make a statement on the Heroes and Horses website that resonates – “Our Veterans don’t need more help – they need better help.”

Micah: Exactly. There are 50,000 non-profit programs for Veterans in the United States today, yet despite that, 155,000 Veterans have committed suicide since 2005, and that number is only inclusive of 28 states. I’m not judging what these programs are doing or not doing, I’m talking about what drives my purpose to make a change.

Combat changes you. These guys contact me when they get home from combat and are suddenly faced with this complete reversal of the thinking that they had been programmed with in the military. I say to them, look, you can go to the YMCA and talk to a grad student about your experience and sit on the couch and eat Ho Hos all day long and zone out on the red pill or blue pill – and nothing will change. That’s the easy way. I tell these guys that’s a choice and they can choose differently.

I know it sounds harsh and I make a lot of people angry, but the bottom line is, we can’t help people, they have to help themselves. And sometimes we need to teach them how to help themselves.

This program is not the easy way, but a process to find purpose. I want these guys (and hopefully someday, gals — due to special needs and circumstances, the program does not currently accommodate women) to build new processes to find a purpose. I want them to wake up every day and say I have approximately 30,000 days of life on earth, and as of today, I have 10,000 days left. What am I going to do today to give my life purpose? Because when you have purpose, you want to live, and ultimately, the Heroes and Horses program is about keeping Veterans alive. With purpose.


“I became involved as a Board member with Heroes and Horses after I met Micah and we talked about our core values and beliefs. We were aligned in many ways, which made me want to be involved because I knew in my heart he was truly onto something which is genuinely helping our Veterans. My appreciation of horses and Veterans — and what we can learn from them both — was the catalyst for my involvement. It has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life… I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Joel Ledbetter
Director, Real Estate Partner
Hall and Hall
Bozeman, Montana

“Heroes and Horses is dear to my heart. My own horses teach me every single day. I applaud what Heroes and Horses is doing to help the heroes who have done so much for our country. There is a call for action to help foster better programs for our veterans, and I am grateful to be a part of it. ’m proud to donate a part of every commission to this important organization – please join me!”

Deitra Robertson
Deitra RobertsonReal Estate, Inc
Hempstead, Texas

The 2021 Capital Campaign for the Heroes and Horses program kicks off October 23, 2021, at the Kimpton Armory in Bozeman, Montana. The Co-op is extending an invitation — a call to action — to the real estate community to come together and help Micah Fink and the Heroes and Horses non-profit create not just one more Veteran’s program, but a better Veteran’s program.

For more information and to join the capital campaign to make a difference for positive change, please contact:
Heroes and Horses: admin@heroesandhorses.org
406.284.2870, HeroesandHorses.org