Wounded Warrior Project empowered veterans to use hammers, anvils, and fire to turn a horseshoe into a unique knife during a recent connection event in Sevierville.
Injured veterans were handed horseshoes when they arrived at Mohr Custom Knives. All left with new custom knives – and a connection forged during an afternoon of camaraderie while turning old steel into a new razor-sharp keepsake. The recent Wounded Warrior Project gathering empowered all to explore the unique hobby of building a one-of-a-kind knife while sharing their everyday experiences.
“The best part of the entire day was learning something that I’ve always wanted to learn. It was also a very cool way to get introduced to Wounded Warrior Project events,” said Army veteran David Cagle. “My knife turned out great.”
Like a blacksmith, participants used hammers, anvils, and fire to pound their horseshoes into knives. A 2,000-degree fire softened the horseshoes before they were stretched like taffy and hammered flat. After that, warriors ground and polished the knives.
In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, 29.6 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns. Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity and connecting with other veterans.
The class allowed veterans to be creative, with their imagination being the only blueprint for the final product.
“I was surprised that all of our knives came out really nice,” Army veteran Josh Garner said. “I think all of the vets who participated liked making something that we will actually use regularly, but also something that will last. It was a great experience, and I think it might have led to a new hobby, which I’ve really needed lately.
Gatherings like this get wounded veterans out of the house and engaged with fellow warriors in comfortable settings, limiting the common struggle of isolation faced by many returning from war.
To learn and see more about how Wounded Warrior Project programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org and click on multimedia.