Mar 25 2014
MOAA supports Pentagon Federal Credit Union and their continued efforts on wounded warrior outreach. What a great new effort from PenFed and the Military Mentorship Program:
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) launched a new, first-of-its-kind initiative for its athletes and the U.S. military, including wounded warriors and retired service members, to work together to create meaningful relationships and provide motivational experiences. The Military Mentorship Program and this year’s program sponsor PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) have joined together to welcome all of our USSA athletes back home from the games in Sochi, Russia.
“The culture of the USSA is built on being ‘Best in the World’ and on teamwork, commitment, and the values of the organization, and through this program we are reinforcing that message,” said Luke Bodensteiner, executive vice president of athletics for the USSA. “We are proud to put our ‘Best in the World’ athletes alongside the best the U.S. military has to offer.”
Founded by Army veteran and former U.S. Ski Team member and coach Robi Powers, the Military Mentorship Program helps to enable veterans, active-duty service members, and top athletes to train together and share their own personal stories of teamwork, perseverance, overcoming obstacles, and reaching the limits of their potential. Formula Strategy Group, a strategic marketing and communications firm specializing in military- and sports-themed events, media, and sponsorships, championed the new partnership between the USSA and PenFed for the inaugural USSA Military Mentorship Program.
The USSA’s Military Mentorship Program held an event with wounded warriors at the 2014 Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix in Park City, Utah, for athletes who were preparing to compete at Sochi and future Olympic Games. PenFed sponsored a session at the USSA’s Center of Excellence which featuredover twentyathletes and two wounded warriors, including Marine Corps Col. (Ret.) John Bates, a three-time recipient of the Purple Heart; and Army Col. (Ret.) Danny McKnight, a recipient of the Purple Heart who took enemy fire in Somalia as chronicled in the movie “Black Hawk Down.”
“USSA Athletes and our military have a lot to learn from each other,” said James Schenck, executive vice president at PenFed, a proud sponsor of the first ever Military Mentorship Program. “Both understand the importance of preparation and training, staying focused in high-pressure situations, and working as a team. Bringing them together to help inspire each other is a natural fit.”
Veterans making the transition back to the civilian community, whether they’re still in the military or not, have many resources available to them. Learn more about the SCUBA program designed for disabled and wounded warriors, and how servicemembers can use martial arts to cope with the stress that comes from deployments and service.
Image of Emily Cook, Aerials in the 2013 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Heavenly Resort, California. Photo © Kirk Paulsen via USSA.org.