MARCH 25, 2012

“I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

-US Armed Services Oath of Enlistment

As many of you, I am very grateful for the men and women who serve our country in times of peace and war.  It is my opinion that service to your country is the highest form of citizenship.  The rights and freedoms that we enjoy today were built upon the shoulders of the young men and women who sacrificed so we can live in freedom.  We all know someone who has served in the US Armed Services and possibly lost their life while fulfilling the mission of protecting the United States and its interests.  There is a group of soldiers who come home each day that we often forget about.

According to the Watson Institute at Brown University (2011) 32,100 hostile injuries occurred to American soldiers while serving in Iraq.  This number can be coupled with 11,722 additional injuries that were sustained to soldiers in the Afghanistan theatre.  While not all of these injuries yielded permanent disabilities, there are a number of young men and women whose lives will be changed forever.

I am very fortunate to share an office with Olympic Gold Medalist Joaquim Cruz. Joaquim not only coaches Paralympic athletes at the Olympic Training Center, he also works with disabled soldiers at Balboa Medical Center in San Diego.  Joaquim has been instrumental in giving young soldiers the passion and drive to recover from their injuries while training for the sport of track and field.  The vast majority of these soldiers will never make it to the Paralympic level, but I can assure you they are grateful to get back to some form of normalcy. 

Ty Sevin with Wounded Warriors

Joaquim has been influential over the past 4 years in bringing recovering soldiers to the Olympic Training Center on Wednesday afternoons.  These young men and women have the opportunity to participate in track and field events while they work through the rehab process.  I feel very honored to be able to work with these young men and women as they fight to regain not only their physical well being but also the ever-changing mental challenges associated with the recovery process.  It is amazing that after three years working with disabled veterans I have never heard one person complain or get the impression that they feel sorry for themselves. 

I would urge all of you to make an effort to get involved personally or financially to help our disabled vets.  There are many non-profit organizations that are in desperate need for volunteers and support.  Start today by visiting the Wounded Warrior Project at www. 

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself"
-DH Lawrence