Project Enduring Pride (PEP) began working with our wounded warrior population in 2006 through the sponsoring of a two day golf tournament. It was a tournament that the powers that be at Walter Reed-Georgia Ave in Washington, D.C. did not think possible. We found there was “No Support” from the Army for the tournament, all had to be done through the volunteers in PEP.
Was it a success? To us, yes-- We raised the funds from a multitude of sources and held a two day event with 42 WW participating for both days!! That was success for sure.
With the smell of victory in our nostrils, we went on to begin a program of Kayak racing on the Potomac with our friends at Washington Canoe Club, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Like with golf, we had many “Doubting Thomases” along the way. In the doubt factor we had to push through and find a smile on the faces of someone. If we did, oftentimes it was among the wounded.
In 2012 after several false starts, we held our initial event with WCC hosting. It was great. The wounded welcomed the opportunity to race on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. with the view of D.C. behind the finish line. Our first year was successful, we felt compelled to announce more events, and now Kayak racing on the Potomac is a regular event of our program.
Through the success of the kayak racing PEP was approached by several WW to help sponsor a wounded warrior hockey tournament. That’s correct-- Ice hockey with the WW. We are looking to work with two types of teams; a sled team and the stand-up team. We recently signed agreement with New York Fire Department (FDNY) to host a match and the Washington Capitals to host one in D.C. at their practice area in Arlington, VA. The matches begin in October 2013 and run through April 2014 with a match against Boston FD. We are talking with Philadelphia FD to have them host a match in that city as well.
Click here to read our letter to New York City Fire Commissioner Cassano.
So why do we struggle to get these event on the table? Just doing BBQ’s would be much easier.
|Jared Lemon out on the ice
with WW Hockey Team
As a former sports coach (Track and Field) in the United States and Internationally through ISTAF, it is second nature to see the competitive nature of our wounded warriors. We saw a need to do something beyond the care given on the wards by a very professional group of military and civilian staffs. Of course it was a no-brainer when the Army staff asked us to look into golf, and then the Navy approved kayaking, and now working outside the DOD, adaptive hockey, which began with two wounded warriors asking us to “Get in the Game”! One had been with us for more than two years!!
The need is there, while we say we are working with the wounded to return them as better citizens to their communities they came from, we also believe in nurturing the competitive spirit. PEP Adaptive Sports focuses on our severely injured military, both active duty and veterans, with a permanent physical disability such as amputation, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments and significant nerve and muscle damage. We accept them all on the roster of our teams.
WW and their guests are provided all sports programs free of charge, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive equipment, transportation, event fees and lodging. Much of the instructions are done through the coordinating efforts of PEP and various specialty coaching staffs that we have vetted and noted as worthy of our association. We have to do this, for we found several teams are sponsored by organizations that host events for profit! We are not for profit, and that hurts us, for we must depend on the public, organizations and business to help us achieve our annual budget. While we have no set amount for our budget, like most disciplined organizations, we have a goal. That goal allows us to support the stated program which we are now conducting with the DOD and away from and in the community. We see this as necessary as we leave Afghanistan and our wounded population are drawn down and released into the community.
PEP is always looking to help empower and inspire disabled people through equipping and welcoming them into a wide spectrum of sports communities. You and your business or organization can help sponsor the athletes or events by donating today through this web site or mailing in your contribution to:
Project Enduring Pride
P.O. Box 760
Fairfax, VA 22038
We thank you for reading about our efforts to better the lives of those wounded or disabled through military service. We look forward to you or your organization's sponsorship of our program.