Hundreds of severely wounded veterans, family members and caregivers shared inspirational stories, formed support networks and received educational tools to help rebuild their lives
ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, a not-for-profit dedicated to helping severely wounded veterans of the War on Terror, brought more than 150 severely wounded veterans, their families and their caregivers to the 5th Annual Road to Recovery Conference & Tribute, Sunday Dec. 7 through Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081211/NY51609 )
The all-expense-paid event featured medical and career counseling, an adaptive sports clinic, motivational speakers, musical entertainment, and an opportunity to share inspirational success stories and form a lasting network of support.
"Tens of thousands of American troops have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan severely wounded, struggling to heal from physical and mental wounds, pay for medical and other bills, and re-enter civilian life," said Dan Vargas, director of the CSAH Family Support Network.
Donny Daughenbaugh, CSAH National Spokesman and Grassroots Events Director, described every Road to Recovery attendee as a "true American hero."
"It's great to see my fellow wounded veterans and their families come together, share experiences and learn that there is a community of support that they can rely on to help them on their road to recovery," he said.
Highlights of the Road to Recovery Conference included:
Adaptive Sports Clinic - The clinic, which included adaptive skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and mountain biking, was adapted for use by amputees, the blind, and those with traumatic brain injury, not only served as a form of physical, but also psychological therapy.
Career Fair - Helping attendees transition from a military to a civilian lifestyle, the conference featured a job fair, resume writing and interviewing skills classes, and an employment panel, which led to successful job placements for veterans.
Entertainment - Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, the Vandel-Snook Band, and artist Dan Dunn wowed the crowd, while up-and-coming country music star, wounded veteran and conference attendee Stephen Cochran surprised his fellow veterans and their families with a performance at the closing ceremony. Veterans were also given tickets to Walt Disney World, where they were able to share much needed quality time with their families.
Counseling Sessions - CSAH and a team of counselors from the Department of Veterans Affairs provided counseling sessions for the veterans, their spouses, caregivers and children to enable interactive conversation and facilitate the creation of a lasting support network to aid in the recovery process.
"There's nothing the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes won't do for a disabled vet," said Ssgt. Matthew Keil, a disabled Army veteran who attended the conference with his wife Tracy. "This is the only place where we have been able to meet others who understand what we're going through and find the right kind of support that we need. I'm with 150 families here that understand me and get it."
About the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes is a 501 (c)(3), non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the severely wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families rebuild their lives. Since its 2004 inception, CSAH has provided more than $22 million in emergency aid, assisting severely wounded troops and their families nearly 13,000 times.
For more information on how the CSAH can help you or to learn how you can help, please visit the Web site at www.saluteheroes.org.
SOURCE Coalition to Salute America's Heroes