Monthly Archives: June 2015

2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise

In May the Elizabeth Dole Foundation hosted the 2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise in Washington, D.C. Here are a few of the highlights.

Donald Trump attended a private session with the Fellows to learn about our experiences and concerns.

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Donald Trump with Melissa, Allyson, and Jennifer

2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise

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Hidden Heroes Summit Melissa Johnson, SD Fellow, Heather Pritchard, Home Depot Foundation, Tim Fallon, Operation Homefront, Jessica Allen, TN Fellow Photo courtesy of Lynn Dykstra, Focused Images

As part of a panel of caregivers, I shared difficulties we have encountered as a Reserve Component family living in a rural  community.

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Michelle Obama speaks at the Hidden Heroes Summit Photo courtesy of Lynn Dykstra, Focused Images

Senator Elizabeth Dole, VA Secretary Robert Mcdonald, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Tom Hanks addressed the audience.

The 2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise Produced Focused Initiatives and Overwhelming Support for Military and Veteran Caregivers

http://www.elizabethdolefoundation.org/2015-hidden-heroes-coalition-summit-progress-promise-produced-focused-initiatives-overwhelming-support-military-veteran-caregivers/

Pastor Joel Osteen joined us for the Focus on Faith Reception.

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Patty, Melissa, Pastor Joel Osteen, Melissa, and Liz

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Meeting Senator John McCain

Pastor Joel Osteen Joins Senator Elizabeth Dole at Hidden Heroes: Focus on Faith Reception to Inspire Bipartisan, Interfaith Cooperation

http://www.elizabethdolefoundation.org/pastor-joel-osteen-joins-senator-elizabeth-dole-hidden-heroes-focus-faith-reception-inspire-bipartisan-interfaith-cooperation/

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Senator Bob Dole Photo courtesy of Lynn Dykstra, Focused Images

Visit the links below for additional information.

Wounded Warrior Caregiving Hero:  Meet Melissa Johnson

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/8/wounded-warrior-caregiving-hero-meet-melissa-johns/

Washington Times Series A Month Long Salute to Wounded Warrior Caregivers

http://www.washingtontimes.com/specials/month-long-salute-wounded-warrior-caregivers/


Blinded Veterans Share Stories at ARVO Conference

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Blinded Veterans Association Operation Peer Support participants Matt Slaydon, Shianti Lee, Tom Zampieri, Tim Hornik, Sean Johnson, Steve Baskis, Glenn Minney, and Don Gagliano

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Terrell Davis, former Denver Broncos running back, spoke about the impact of traumatic brain injury

In May Sean and I attended the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) national conference in Denver, Colorado. Sean was one of three veterans who represented the Blinded Veterans Association’s (BVA) Operation Peer Support on a panel addressing traumatic brain injury and vision loss.

These veterans shared their personal experiences with brain injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan and how their vision was ultimately imapacted. They were joined on stage by researchers and medical professionals who have extensive experience with brain injury and vision loss.

Former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis spoke briefly about his experience with TBI due to his injuries on the football field and the impact on his life. He encouraged participants to continue to research brain injury, especially for military service members.

Throughout the weekend we attended other sessions to learn about ground-breaking research and life-changing technology.

To learn more, folllow these links:

Brain injuries get closer look at Denver conference

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/lifestyle/health/brain-injuries-get-closer-look-at-denver-conference

Vision and Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans and Athletes

http://www.arvo.org/Annual_Meeting/2015/Program/Vision_and_Traumatic_Brain_Injury_in_Veterans_and_Athletes/