About The Veterans Ranch
To help Veterans, First Responders, and their families dealing with PTS and any family issues through Equine Therapy. We also raise funds for children who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.
Pam (PJ) Smith is the President/CEO of The Veterans Ranch and the wife of J.R. Like J.R., Pam has a lot of deep military ties in her family. Her Father was in the Army after WWII, and she also had two Uncles that were in WWII.
One was with medical in Germany, and the other was at Pearl Harbor the day it was hit. That great man lived till 2010. So, Pam has the same deep appreciation for our military and their families that we all do and this is why she felt so passionate about starting The Veterans Ranch. Horses have always been a passion for Pam as well. She says that there is nothing more magical than being on a horse and just going for an amazing ride.
J.R. is the Vice President/COO of The Veterans Ranch. He has always had a love for horses and Veterans. His Father, Uncle, Grandfather, are all Veterans. J.R. also had a lot of friend that went to the first Gulf War right out of high school in 1991.
So, he has a strong appreciation for the sacrifices that are made to protect our freedoms. This is why The Veterans Ranch was founded in 2017 so Veterans and their families can get the assistance that they need, and lay down that heavy coat of burden and walk forward as a new and improved version of themselves. J.R. calls horses God’s majestic animal. They can feel a gnat land on their back, so they know everything about you from two feet away. They are just amazing.
Michael Smith Sr. is the Secretary/Treasurer of The Veterans Ranch. Mike Served in The United States Navy from 1969-1973 and was in Vietnam during 1969-1970. Mike has a strong passion for helping other Veterans in need as well as their families.
Mike has seen first hand how military life can affect families, so he wants to help any way that he can. Mike calls horses your seventh sense. They are that buddy in your unit that knows everything about you. The good, the bad, and the ugly, and they don’t judge you. You are there to take care of each other, period. That is what horses do for you. Some Veterans NEVER get that feeling again once they are out of the service. So, we hope that we can provide some of that feeling again for them.
Col Don (DOC) Ballard
Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient
We are extremely proud and honored to add the newest member to The Veterans Ranch Advisory Board. Colonel Ballard is an amazing individual that we are proud to call friend. He brings decades of knowledge and experience and we couldn't be happier to have him as part of the team. Doc says, I am passionate about helping veterans, Both alive and Dead. When they need help at the worst time in their lives. I am passionate about Educating (OUR KIDS), the new leaders of this great country. Teach important lessons that they will not learn in our current day schools. I am passionate about remembering our Gold Star Families that loss a Family member in War. They paid a larger price than most Americans, and only have their memories to show for their loss.
Carl A. Blackstone MAJ (Ret) USA
Carl severed 22 years with the Connecticut Army National Guard, starting in the enlisted ranks as Private and Retiring as Major. During Carl's career he served as Communications Chief, Company Commander, Facility Manager and Maintenance Administrative Officer for the Director of Logistics.
After retiring in 1996, Carl started his second career in Residential Real Estate and is currently Senior Vice President of The Center For Institutional Finance located in Daytona Beach, FL. The Veterans Ranch is honored to have Carl's knowledge and expertise on the advisory board.
Hiram Figueroa USMC Veteran
Hiram was in the United States Marine Corp from 1977-1992 with a very extensive career. Hiram is a highly motivated Sr. Operation Manager with an extensive background in business transportation systems, project management, supply chain management, and overall day-to-day operations, passionate about leading teams to achievement while implementing efficient and effective processes. Hiram brings a large amount of experience to The Veterans Ranch Advisory Board and we are proud to have him be on the team.
Eugene Oliva USMC Veteran
Eugene served 8 plus years in the United States Marine Corps. Eugene is a strong willed person who puts 110% into everything that he does. After leaving the Marine Corps Eugene has successfully started and running multiple businesses and has a very extensive resume. We are proud to have him on our advisory board.