Each year on November 11th, the nation comes together to honor the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans who have served their country. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs there are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States. These brave men and women come from all walks of life and are an important part of their communities. They are grandparents, parents, children, friends, neighbors and co-workers who deserve to be recognized not only on Veterans Day but throughout the year.
Earlier this month, NeuroRestorative, a partner of The MENTOR Network, joined the country in honoring our nation’s veterans, including those we support in our brain injury rehabilitation programs across The Network, by participating in Veteran’s Day activities. In Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia, veterans and other participants in our programs attended local parades and community activities as well as joined fellow veterans to dine in local restaurants.
“It was a privilege to attend the Veteran’s Day events held in Carbondale, Illinois and witness the impact these commemorations had on the veterans we support,” said Michelle Vaughn, Speech Language Pathologist at NeuroRestorative Carbondale. “Our participants felt honored by the appreciation they received from the community.”
In Virginia, Jonathan Roth, a participant at NeuroRestorative Virginia, took time on Veteran’s Day to reflect on the lessons the Army taught him and how he can use those lessons in his rehabilitation.
“I joined the Army because I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, but my service taught me much more than my family’s history,” says Jonathan. “The military taught me the importance of loyalty, duty, respect and selfless service but it also taught me the importance of quick and accurate decision making, because it can be the difference between life and death. My brain injury put me back a bit, but I’m re-learning a lot of my previous skills and even learning how to play the guitar!”
On Veteran’s Day, Jonathan and other program participants from NeuroRestorative Virginia attended an appreciation lunch hosted by Senator Mark Warner, (D-VA) at the New Market Battlefield State Historic Park in Virginia. They were joined by 50 other veterans and their families who were honored and thanked for their service on behalf of the United States.
“What I want people to know is that I appreciate their support of my sacrifices. It feels good when people say thank you for your service. It means that there’s someone who gets it, that I’ve given up a lot,” says Jon.
NeuroRestorative is also affiliated with Virginia NeuroCare in Charlottesville, VA which is a core program of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). Virginia NeuroCare offers active rehabilitation programs to active duty service members and their dependents, veterans and civilians with brain injuries and other neurological challenges. This past Veteran’s Day, participants and staff from Virginia NeuroCare’s Grove House program attended services in the Charlottesville community and returned home to be presented with keep sake coins from Dr. Don Nidiffer, Virginia NeuroCare’s Site Director.
“At NeuroRestorative we have a tremendous opportunity to give back to our nation’s veterans and their families through our specialized programs and services for individuals with brain injuries and other neurological challenges,” says Tori Harding, Vice President of Development for NeuroRestorative and the Clinical Projects Coordinator for Virginia NeuroCare. “We are grateful for the courage, commitment and the immense personal sacrifices of all our veterans and proud to be a part of their recovery.”