Academy Programs Get Wounded Warriors Back into the Game

Posted by | September 03, 2010 | News & Events | No Comments
 LCDR Kim Mitchell (left) and MAJ Ed Kennedy (right) accept a giclee of the painting

LCDR Kim Mitchell (left) and MAJ Ed Kennedy (right) accept a giclee of the painting “Wounded Warrior” from Academy President, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, during their visit on 2 September. The original five foot by seven foot painting, by 2002 Sport Artist of the Year Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, was later presented to the guests who will display it at the Pentagon.

U.S. Army Major Ed Kennedy sees huge potential in utilizing the United States Sports Academy’s academic programs and online technology to assist soldiers with making the transition back into civilian life.

Major Kennedy made these comments when he and U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Kim Mitchell visited the Academy’s campus on Thursday, 2 September. Both Kennedy and Mitchell are a part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Warrior and Family Services Program.

The Academy is working with the U.S. military “Wounded Warrior” program to deliver its education programs to military personnel who are ill, wounded, and/or disabled from post-9/11 overseas combat duty.

Major Kennedy said the Academy’s online program would be very convenient not just for the wounded soldiers, but the non-wounded as well, because a soldier is “always on the go.” He also saw the Academy’s mentorship program, which incorporates experiential learning as a complement to a student’s academic program, as a good tool to help soldiers transition into civilian life by getting the experience needed to obtain employment.

Major Kennedy also saw the Academy being a sport-specific institution as a plus for the program. “People in sports are used to treating injured athletes and getting them ready to get back into the game,” Kennedy said. “We are about rehabilitating injured soldiers and getting them back into civilian life.”

A white paper entitled, “The Sea of Goodwill,” written by Major John W. Copeland and Col. David W. Sutherland, Director of Warrior & Family Programs, focuses on three key elements in helping veterans and their families reintegrate into civilian society: education, access to health care for life, and employment.

The Sea of Goodwill brings a holistic balance to the Wounded Warrior Program, commonly known as the “trinity.” These three key components are necessary to ensure service members and their families achieve a seamless transition back into civilian society.

“The potential of the Sea of Goodwill is not just the nation’s government, non-governmental agencies, benevolent organizations, and institutes of higher learning,” Sutherland and Copeland stated. “Its potential is in the heart of our nation’s communities – the citizens of those towns and cities. The aim of this Sea of Goodwill is matching donors with the needs of Service members, veterans, their families, and the families of the fallen.”

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich said the key to the trinity’s balance is education. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education. The mortar of a community is its schools. Institutions of higher learning link community, spiritual, business, social, and benevolent support to opportunities.”

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