Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Honor veterans this Nov. 11

Tomorrow is the day set aside to honor our American veterans. We currently have 25 million veterans living in the United States and we are a country at war.

In the past year, I have had the incredible opportunity to work directly with retired and active-duty service members who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and blindness. For me as manager of the Higher Ground veterans' program through Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, this year has proven to be sobering, inspiring and highly rewarding.

The veterans' injuries are often debilitating, with painstaking physical manifestations and emotional and mental effects that leave these men and women feeling incredibly vulnerable and dysfunctional. They struggle to participate in family life and daily activities.

Most arrive in the valley severely depressed and in need of tools to help them reintegrate into their families and communities. Eight times a year, 10 injured veterans and their caregivers are brought to this valley by Higher Ground to participate in an innovative weeklong therapeutic sports and recreation-based program, with a focus on helping soldiers and their families cope.

I want to thank this community for its continued, generous support of our programming and I want to encourage anyone interested to get involved by volunteering your time, skills or gifts. Join a life-changing program that is happening right here in your beloved mountain town; do your part and start giving back to these veterans today.

Mostly, I want to express my sincere, heartfelt gratitude and utmost thanks to our service members and their families—those who are serving in this war and those who have protected us in the past—for their incredible dedication, bravery and willingness to make sacrifices for our country. Each is a true hero.

Sean McEntee


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