Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Meaningful Military Encouragement

I was encouraged to hear the story of a wonderful wounded warrior who served in Iraq and was severely injured on Fox and Friends this week. But instead of blaming or having a pity party, Captain DJ Skelton has chosen to give back. Exactly what I believe true encouragement is all about.

"You don't need arms, legs, eyes to pursue your dreams. You can do and be whatever you want." He has set up a Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project which he calls a motivational tool to get soldiers out of their hospital bed. And it works.

Since she lost both legs in December 2005, Marissa Stroch, a 21-year-old Military Police soldier, wondered if she could still climb.

"A week ago in physical therapy, I heard them say 'rock climbing' and I said, 'Oooh Oooh, pick me! Pick me! I wanna go!'" she said. "When I came in today, I said, 'I'm either going to end up leaving here really angry with myself, or really happy.'"

Disabled Sports USA and Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project sponsored an event that brought three double-leg amputees, two single-leg amputee and one soldier blinded during combat together to transcend their handicaps and climb toward recovery.

"These guys keep pushing themselves, pushing their limit, and we're just here to facilitate it," U.S. Army Capt. D.J. Skelton, the program organizer, said. "All we did is set the stage so that when these guys were ready and had the confidence to take the step out, it was there for them."

Captain Skelton says he got phenomenal care at Walter Reed, "there is no shortage of patriotism in the United States. People want to hear positive stories about what is happening to our soldiers on and off the field."

And they listen, even NBA stars.

Click on the link to the left for more encouraging information on how Coach K inspired his Team USA with a meaningful message from our military.

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