Unique Opportunity

In August Handihelp was part of an exhibit put on by the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center at the Outdoor Adventure Day at Fort Drum. It was a great day! There were over 30 exhibitors which ranged from the Woodsman Team from the Environmental School of Forestry from Syracuse University to Rangers from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

We had the opportunity to talk to a large number of people, but my interaction with one gentleman proved to be extremely interesting and fruitful. Although he was in civilian clothes I was pretty sure that he was a soldier. He seemed very interested in the adaptations I had on display and the fact that I was also a motivational speaker. When he got ready to leave, he told me he was a chaplain for the Warrior Transition Unit and asked if I would be willing to come and speak to them. Once in a while I had contacts similar to this, but it seemed like nothing ever came of them, but this time it was going to be different. About a week later I got an email from him inviting me to come and speak to the Wounded Warriors.



There will be a luncheon on Friday, October 16th, after which I will be able to interact with the soldiers. I am truly humbled and honored to be given this very unique opportunity. I want to thank the soldiers for their service and the sacrifice they have made for our country and our way of life. I can think of no honor greater than being able to help them make a smooth transition back to civilian life regardless of their disability.

Talking with a visitor

Talking with a visitor

The Chaplain

The Chaplain and his son

3 responses to “Unique Opportunity

  1. Rich, they couldn’t have run across a better person to interact with their soldiers. Your interest in outdoors adventures and your motivation to stay involved with an active lifestyle will be an uplifting attitude for those soldiers to witness. Being able to see the modifications you have made to everyday items so that you can function and do the things you want as independently as possible will speak to them as they are trained to do the same thing in the field when faced with unusual circumstances. Your ingenuity will fascinate them and keep their attention on your drive and mental focus to move forward despite your limiting physical situation. This is something they need to see as they are just beginning the phase of their lives with bodies that have changed. That you can also be open and honest about their feelings of resentment, anger, depression about their new situation will also help them have a safe place to discuss their feelings too, something they may not ever be able to do with anyone else who could better understand ever. I hope that the chaplain will have you for more visits that include talking with them about the changes in their lives that only you can understand, I know that your kind and gentle soul would be so helpful to them in that respect. Enjoy your time with them, it’s not often we civilians are able to give back to those in the military who give so much for us.

  2. Wonderful. You have so much to give – so much imagination,and problem solving abilities, i am sure that you will be an inspiration. keep up the good work!

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