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Staff Spotlight: Chris DeAntoni to spend a week with War Horses for Veterans

Chris DeAntoni is not just a teacher at LuHi; he is also a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps for twenty-two years. He did seven deployments as a reconnaissance Marine, an infantry officer and a Marine Raider/Special Operations Officer. This summer, Chris is combining his love of horses with his military service by participating in a week-long event with the organization War Horses for Veterans.

War Horses for Veterans is a nonprofit organization that supports U.S. veterans and first responders. WH4V provides opportunities for growth and healing through unconventional means. Part of their mission is to, “help veterans and first responders who experienced life-disrupting trauma to recover from their limitations, to repurpose their talents and abilities to a successful life, and to reintegrate into their families, workplaces, and communities. [We are] both a reset and skill tune-up for performance optimization that is adaptable at many levels promoting holistic mental and physical wellness.”

This summer, Chris is headed to Kansas City for a program specifically designed for active duty, retired and former special operators. This five-day program is “broken into multiple sections with varying training objectives aimed at holistic wellness, decompression, and performance optimization.” Each day includes elements of ranch work, horsemanship, and personal coaching.

Chris’s love of horses dates back to his childhood. On The LuHi Pod, he shared that one of his favorite smells is horse breath because it reminds him of his grandparents' ranch in South Dakota. In our second interview with Chris, he talked about one of his proudest moments as a father: buying a horse for his daughter so she could pursue her passion for riding.

When August rolls around, you can find Chris back in the classroom at LuHi, where he challenges young men to become servant leaders by encouraging critical thinking. He teaches Men’s Health and assists in the weight room. The Men’s Health class facilitates rich discussions on serious topics that young men may encounter, providing a safe space to explore concepts of healthy masculinity and allowing students to ask questions from a place of curiosity and learning.

Chris believes that “Young men need to do dangerous things safely” and that they “benefit from doing the hardest thing possible.” He empowers the young men of LuHi to seek adventure safely. When asked how his past experiences help him in the classroom, Mr. DeAntoni explained that they help him foster “compassionate relationships, build leaders, and promote character development.”


Before joining LuHi, Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts in Classics. He taught Latin and Greek for several years at Kent Denver and Graland Day School before enlisting in the US Marine Corps in 1994. After retiring from the military in 2017, Chris worked in strength training programs at Regis Jesuit, Valor Christian, and Kent Denver before joining Lutheran. He also holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science - Fitness and Performance from Liberty University.

We can’t wait to have Chris back on the Podcast soon so we can glean more from his wisdom and hear about his summer experience with War Horses for Veterans.

See both podcast episodes here: