May 21-22, Quality of Life Foundation was able to participate in the 2015 Warrior Community Integration Symposium hosted by our friends at America’s Warrior Partnership and the presenting sponsor, Wounded Warrior Project. The two day event kicked off with opening remarks from Jeremy Chwat of Wounded Warrior Project, and Jim Lorraine of America’s Warrior Partnership, as well as the powerful personal story of Medal of Honor recipient Col ( R ) Leo Thorness, USAF. In his comments, Jim Lorraine emphasized the importance of helping veterans from the bottom up, rather than the top down, and our responsibility as Veteran Service Providers to remind our veterans when they return home that “they can do this.” Jeremy Chwat stressed the importance of collaboration in the veteran-serving non-profit industry and reminded attendees “If [we] don’t collaborate, [we] will be limited to [our] own abilities.”
The event featured presentations on the current veteran community landscape as well as sessions on improving program outcomes through data measurement. Multiple panels covered a range of topics including reducing red tape, the importance of both mental and physical health, economic empowerment, veteran and warrior volunteerism, and family and caregiver support, which featured our Director Rachel O’Hern as a panelist.
The event provided a great opportunity to connect with other veteran serving organizations and learn ways to improve our own program as we continue our mission of supporting caregiving families of our nation’s most severely wounded ill and injured. Our thanks to the Bob Woodruff Foundation for sponsoring travel costs – we are looking forward to using what we learned!