Last week HP and corporate sponsors supported a softball game for the Wounded Warriorsat PETCO Park in San Diego, California, at the AFCEA West Conference. Established in 1946, AFCEA is a “non-profit membership association serving the military, government, industry, and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, IT, intelligence, and global security.”
If you are unfamiliar with Wounded Warriors, this is a fantastic non-profit with the mission to honor and empower wounded warriors. The Wounded Warrior website provides a quick history of the non-profit:
Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life.
Tens of thousands of Wounded Warriors and caregivers receive support each year through WWP programs designed to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. To learn more about WWP, take a look at our mission to see how it influences the innovative programs and services offered to Wounded Warriors.
Becky Nolan, of AFCEA provided some insights as to how the event developmed “This is just a great experience and watching it unfold is great thing to see, because in the beginning it was such a little thing.” Becky continued to note that while in attendance at a baseball game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, she had extra for another, Hail to the Vets, and the Orioles recommended giving the tickets away to the Wounded Warriors Softball team. A few months later, AFCEA, with help from corporate sponsors, they were able to rent out PETCO field and host a softball game for the Wounded Warriors softball team.
Becky Nolan, AFCEA International Executive Vice President, began planning the event working closely with David Van Sleet, who just retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs after 30 years and is also the Wounded Warrior team founder. “I’ve been working with David Van Sleet who is just an amazing individual who has started this team and just retired after working at the VA for 30 years and has been in prosthetics the entire time and a softball player, and so what better a retirement job than to combine both his passions,” said Nolan.
At the game, the Wounded Warriors team was allowed full access to PETCO Park facilities, players even had their jerseys hanging up in the locker room. Nolan mentioned the locker room was like something the Wounded Warrior team wished for as a little kid. Nolan summed it up best, and the importance of HP sponsoring events like the Wounded Warriors Softball game:
“AFCEA is thrilled and honored to be doing what they are doing here tonight, because what’s exciting is that the technology today is healing the physical wounds of our warriors, people are living today with injuries they didn’t use to in the old days, but what’s not healing is the psyche. And this kind of a thing, when they are able to go back and do the same kind of athletic activities they have done their entire life, that’s what it’s all about. AFCEA supports warriors, supports veterans.”
Sponsorship of programs like this are fantastic, they truly make a difference in the lives of our veterans and help empower others to act towards a common mission, and support a great organization like the Wounded Warriors. You can watch the video here in which Becky Nolan discusses the event:
What experience can you share that made a Vets dream come true?