A $7,500 donation by Exostrategies, Inc., to the Wounded Warrior Project highlights the connection among the aerospace company, the military and the community.
Founded in 2004 by Dan Heimerdinger, Exostrategies is based in Woodland Park where the owner and many of the employees live. “Our company is focused on taking the experience we have working with and inside the government to help modernize and sustain space systems,” said Chris Enger, vice president of the company's national security program.
Chiefly unknown until recently, Exostrategies hit the local news with its $30,000 donation this year to the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter.
This latest donation is given in honor of the late Richard Ferguson, who was killed in Iraq in March 2004 during his fourth tour of duty. Ferguson was a Master Sgt. and member of the 10th Special Forces Group. As well, he was a ski instructor for the Special Forces. He is buried in the Woodland Park Cemetery.
Ferguson's wife, Mandy Ferguson, and the couple's three sons continue to live in Woodland Park. “The family endured such a terrible tragedy; it's clear they are a family that embodies the resilience of Army families,” said Enger, Lt. Col. (Ret.) and past leader of Boy Scout Troop #43. “Meeting the Ferguson boys through the Boy Scouts was a great experience; the two oldest sons have already made Eagle Scout and the third is not far behind.”
Ferguson was honored by the city of Woodland Park with a memorial sculpture in Lions Park which was dedicated November 2011. The sculptor, Scott Stearman, crafted a twist on the Battle Field Cross theme, boots, a bayonet and, rather than a helmet, a beret.
The donation by Exostrategies to WWP reflects the company's commitment to helping empower veterans in mind, body and spirit. “Even though these folks have gone through horrific tragedies, this project helps them get their confidence back,” Enger said.
Among the programs offered by the WWP are adaptive skiing, backpacking, hiking, hunting and fishing. “The programs challenge the veterans mentally and physically; it's all part of helping them get their confidence back and empower them to go on and do bigger things,” Enger said. “We were impressed with their holistic approach to supporting our nation's veterans and the military who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.”