Disabled Sports USA, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and Bataan Memorial Death March
organizers to sponsor a team of 50 wounded warriors and medical support staff in
a grueling 26.2-mile march in the desert
Rockville, MD—March 5, 2012— Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, announced today it will sponsor a team of over 50 wounded warriors and medical support staff, at the 2012 Bataan Memorial Death March, as part of DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports program. The grueling 26.2-mile march will take place Sunday, March 25 in the high desert of White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The service members injured in Iraq and Afghanistan will join more than 6,000 other active duty, retired military, and civilian marchers to test their endurance and strength while raising awareness of the abilities of our nation’s wounded warriors. The majority of the warriors participating will be from major military hospitals including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., and Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio. They have suffered injuries including single or double arm and leg amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and other severe injuries.
Bataan will also be a training event for a group of four wounded warriors who will join DSUSA Executive Director Kirk Bauer to summit Denali (Mt. McKinley) in the Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska. At 20,320 feet, Denali is the highest mountain in North America. The summit attempt will begin on June 10, 2012.
This year marks the fifth consecutive year for DSUSA’s participation in the Bataan Memorial Death March to honor this generation’s military heroes. “Disabled Sports USA is pleased and honored to partner with the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Bataan Memorial Death March organizers to provide an opportunity for our nation’s wounded warriors to challenge themselves in one of the most demanding events they will attempt,” said Bauer, a disabled Vietnam veteran.
“This tribute trek is not just one of unity, recognizing the many sacrifices America’s service members and veterans have made, but also a great testament to the resiliency of our nation’s injured service members. We are honored to support the warriors and medical support staff as they share in such a meaningful experience,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, Executive Director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
The Bataan Memorial Death March, now in its 23rd year, honors World War II heroes who fought to protect the Philippines. The Warfighter Sports team is also supported by the event organizers and volunteers who come together to enable the service members to experience this challenging event.
“Having the wounded warriors here brings an added dimension to the memorial march. This special group shows the strength of the human spirit. What a great way to pay tribute to our Bataan Death survivors,” said White Sands Missile Range Chief of Public Affairs, Monte Marlin.
About Warfighter Sports
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for severely wounded warriors in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. through a nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 30 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities.
Contributions cover all expenses for participation, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals for the warrior and a family member. Since 2003, more than 5,000 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage. For more information, visit www.warfightersports.org.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation provides resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically. Through a public education movement called ReMIND.org, the Bob Woodruff Foundation helps educate the public about the needs of service members returning from war – especially the 1 in 5 service members with hidden injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury and Combat Stress, including Post Traumatic Stress, Depression and Anxiety – and empowers communities nationwide to take action. Across the country, the Bob Woodruff Foundation collaborates with other organizations and experts to identify and solve issues related to the return of service members from combat to civilian life and invests in programs that connect our troops to the help they need — from individual needs like physical accommodations, medical care and counseling, to larger social issues like homelessness and suicide. To date, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested over $10.5 million, reaching more than 1,000,000 service members, support personnel, veterans and their families nationwide.