34th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games
A Booz Allen Company Blog
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Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
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Last week, the 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG), presented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), came to my home town, Philadelphia, PA. I was honored to attend. As Booz Allen’s Army CSO, I am mindful of the large number of newly disabled veterans stemming from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – many of whom are Army soldiers.
This year, the firm was the sponsor of the Quad Rugby competition, and I was struck by the physicality of the game. It was part demolition derby, part soccer, part rugby and involved all-in intensity on the part of the athletes. As I watched, I found myself getting into the drama of it all. I watched the impressive ways the athletes performed, admired their team work and enjoyed the rivalry on display between the opposing teams. The fact that these athletes were playing in wheelchairs was irrelevant. Their passion and commitment to the game was transformational. Much about the human spirit was reaffirmed for me—where there is will and determination, much can be achieved notwithstanding physical limitations.
The NVWG and other athletic programs available to wounded veterans allow these men and women to help reclaim essential aspects of their identities that they may fear are lost because of their injury: athleticism, competitiveness, teamwork, achievement, determination. For wounded warrior caregivers, adaptive sports programs provide goals that they can work towards together, and a community of people to belong to and rely upon who are facing similar challenges.Read more and comment
This week colleagues from Booz Allen’s Philadelphia office and locations across Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and beyond will demonstrate our commitment the Philadelphia community and our servicemen and women by volunteering at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) to be held August 12-17 in Philadelphia, PA.
The NVWG, presented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), attracts more than 500 participants each year to participate in more than 15 different sporting events. As a gold sponsor of the Games, Booz Allen selected the Quad Rugby matches as our signature sponsor sporting event. On Friday, August 15 and Sunday, August 17, firm colleagues, friends and family will be volunteering to cheer on our veteran athletes who will demonstrate their bravery and perseverance by competing in their wheelchairs.
Principal Lee Ann Timreck took this photo of Booz Allen volunteers at the 2014 Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Virginia.
On September 20, I’ll be doing something I never dreamed I’d be doing—joining forces with 24 Booz Allen teammates to see how fast we can pull an 82-ton Airbus plane 12 feet! I pleasantly find myself at the epicenter of a charity event that has taken off (pun intended)—the Dulles Day Festival & Plane Pull®, benefitting Special Olympics Virginia.
I believe in the Special Olympics organization—in what they do to promote camaraderie, respect, teamwork, and a sense of accomplishment—both for the individuals that participate in their programs—and for the volunteers that support them. When I joined Booz Allen more than 25 years ago, the first volunteer activity I participated in was at a Special Olympics event. I remember the smiles of the athletes participating, and smiling right along with them. I met other Booz Allen colleagues for the first time that day that are still with the firm, and to whom I am still connected because of that volunteer event.Read more and comment
When I raised my hand to be the volunteer lead for the Operation Homefront Fill a Lunchbox program for the Colorado Springs office cluster, I had no idea that 400 to 500 military families in our immediate area were in need of food. I was surprised to learn that 36 percent of the requests received by Operation Homefront, (a nonprofit organization that provides emergency services to our servicemen, women and their families) are requests for food. Coming from a military family myself, I do understand the need for support of these families.
Children don’t have the choice to move, they follow their parents wherever they are stationed, leaving relatives and friends behind. Moving can be hard and re-establishing support groups and close relationships can often be more challenging. And although military communities look out for one another, I remember feeling very isolated and lonely as a military kid. I got involved because I want local military families and children know that we are here for them when they need us, in the form of lunchboxes filled with healthy snacks.Read more and comment