About Mended Sparrow


A charitable organization that provides equine assisted services for service members, veterans, first responders with post-traumatic stress and/or disabilities, and similarly situated individuals and their families.

Our Core Values

  • Individual Journey
  • Personal Empowerment
  • Staying Connected

Our Mission

To destigmatize mental health for our courageous heroes, recognizing the individual paths of their healing journeys. We cultivate resilience, empower personal growth, and strengthen connections within oneself and the community through the healing influence of horses, nurturing personal growth and well-being.

Our Vision

A world where our courageous heroes embrace their mental health journey with dignity and without stigma. A society that honors the individual healing timeline and celebrates each step towards personal growth and well-being through the transformative nature of equine-assisted services.

Who We Are

Mended Sparrow, Inc. (MSI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides equine assisted services, at no cost, to our heroes and their families. Led by husband-and-wife duo, Wayne and Shahnaz Deyette, both retired from military service. We are located on a small farm in Mechanicsville, VA, where we welcome service members, veterans, first responders, and similarly situated individuals, who have dedicated their lives to serving, caring, and protecting our country and communities.

We know that trauma is a hidden wound that can affect people in different ways. It can shake one’s faith, leave one with unanswered questions, or cause chronic health issues, both mental and physical. That’s why we are here to support you on your journey of healing and personal growth.

At MSI, we respect that each person’s path is unique and there is no fixed timeline for healing. We provide a supportive and safe environment where you can explore your potential and connect with the horses. Our goal is to foster a sense of community, staying connected with each other as we embark on this transformative journey, harnessing the therapeutic nature of horses to heal, grow, and thrive.

Meet our team

Board of Directors


Wayne Deyette Jr.

Wayne Deyette is a U.S. Navy retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, who served for 24 years from September 1992 to 2016. He participated in multiple operations, including the Kuwait liberation in 1992 and the Iraq/Afghanistan Freedom. He deployed thirteen times for six months or more on various ships, such as amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers, across the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, and Pacific Ocean. After retiring, Wayne worked as a contractor for the U.S. Navy in Norfolk and Williamsburg, VA. He also discovered his love for horses after meeting his wife. He learned how horses can improve one’s life and well-being. Wayne is enthusiastic about helping others through the healing nature of horses. (Photo Credit: Ed LaDuke Photography)


Beau Walters

William “Beau” Walters is a retired Navy Surface Ordnance CWO4 with 24 years of service from 1997 to 2021. He served on five ships and with Special Warfare and completed fourteen deployments in various operations. He holds a Master of Science in Business Performance Improvement from the University of Arkansas at Grantham. Beau was diagnosed with three TBIs that caused depression and anxiety. He advocates for mental health improvement through camaraderie, communication, and community. He resides in Williamsburg, Va.

Executive Director

Shahnaz Deyette

Shahnaz is a Navy veteran who served from December 1995 to 2012. She was the second woman in her family to join the military. She completed several deployments, including a Westpac in 1996, Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 (where she was injured in combat), Kuwait in 2007, and a Med Cruise in 2010. She was medically retired due to her combat injuries in 2012, but she did not let limitations stop her. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Regent University in 2015 and a Master of Industrial Organizational Psychology from Liberty University in 2018. She also competed in the Invictus Games in 2016, representing Team USA in rowing, field, and powerlifting. She is a proud wife and mother of three children, two of whom are serving in the Navy and one who is active in JROTC. She is passionate about horses and their healing nature, which inspired her to found Mended Sparrow, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides equine assisted services to service members, veterans, first responders, and similarly situated individuals and their families. Her favorite quote by Bryan Jarrett, “When your past, your pain and your passion overlap, you find the sweet spot of your purpose in life.”

Two sparrows perched on a wire

Why The Sparrow?

Sparrows are small, common birds that can be found all over the world. They have diverse spiritual meanings in various cultures and beliefs. Some of the common themes associated with sparrows are:

  • Hope. Sparrows symbolize hope for a better future and the power of faith during challenging times. They remind us to never give up and to trust in a higher power that cares for us.

  • Community. Sparrows represent the importance of community and teamwork. They show us that when we work together, we can achieve great things. They also symbolize friendship, loyalty, and harmony.

  • Adaptability. Sparrows are known for their ability to adapt and survive in different environments and situations. They teach us to be flexible and embrace change in our lives. They also symbolize resilience and courage.

  • Joy. Sparrows are cheerful and lively birds that sing their song throughout the day. They symbolize the joy of living and the happiness that comes from being free and content. They also remind us to appreciate the little things in life.


Arenas For Change Logo
Arenas For Change
Dreamwinds Logo
Dreamwinds Equine Assisted Learning Centre
Shepherd Academy logo
Shepherd Academy
(Pending final certification September 2024)
The Herd Institute
The Herd Institute
(Final certification June 2024)