The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 59 of 148

january/february 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  59 y conversation with Aaron Anderson, founder of the Green Beret Foundation, caught me off guard emotionally. I knew I'd be talking to a former Special Forces guy, but I thought the interview would center mostly around the Russian River Valley–based wine brand, We Believe Wines, which has partnered with the Green Beret Foundation to support Green Berets and their families; a portion of the proceeds from each bottle of wine sold goes directly to the Green Beret Foundation. Instead, I learned of Anderson's harrowing journey, which ultimately led him to the creation of the Green Beret Foundation; and then, yes, of course, we talked about the delicious wine supporting it. The Green Berets, officially known as the United States Army Special Forces, are a specialized group of soldiers tasked to perform an array of missions focusing mainly on unconventional warfare. They are America's first line of defense around the world. But what was the impetus for Anderson's organization? "I was blown up in Afghanistan in 2006," he told me. "Then at Walter Reed [National Military Medical Center] for seven months in Washington, D.C. I under- went 24 surgeries to salvage my lower extremities and ended up medically retiring from the Special Forces in 2008." As Anderson transitioned from military to civilian life, he was very active with a program that special operations command had put in place called the Care Coalition. "I was working as a mentor with other wounded special opera- tions guys, and I started to see some of the gaps that existed in the system," he explained. "I didn't have a family to worry about while I was recovering at the time, but I was watching the others who had missing limbs, missing eyesight, burns and all types of other stuff with their families there, realizing that the rest of their lives would change." Along with this change came a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the future. "I knew that was also adding more stress to the rehabilitation process for a lot of these guys," said Anderson. "I took all of these realizations with me in constructing the organization that met those needs and covered these gaps that were there." Years later, after the formation of the Green Beret Foundation and after helping hundreds of Special Forces military personnel and their families, Anderson has stepped down from running the organization but is still involved with high-level fundraising activities and partnership opportunities. "I just get to focus on projects I enjoy, like with We Believe." january/february 2017  /  the tasting panel  / We Believe 2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley ($28) We have so much faith in this generous, round- textured red: cocoa cherry juiciness, nutmeg and red tea tannin savoriness and the plump-on-your-palate plum notes that season and spice the finish. It sure over-delivers—believe it! 91 —Meridith May Peter Sabatino, owner of Sabatino's Sausage Company in Newport Beach, CA with Aaron Anderson, founder of the Green Beret Foundation. january/february 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  59

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - January / February 2017