Most people would agree that there is not much else in this world that is stronger or kinder than the heart of a volunteer. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, more than 300 active and veteran military servicemen and women, as well as staff and volunteers for the nonprofit Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services (CAUSE), gathered at the elegant Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia, for the 9th Annual Veterans Day Benefit Gala to prove them right.
While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be drawing down for most Americans, few veterans escape the mental, emotional, and physical challenges experienced after combat service. Founded in April 2003 by four West Point graduates and their wives, CAUSE offers four unique programs in 12 locations across the U.S. and in Germany to assist wounded veterans and their families begin the normalization process into their homes and communities.
CAUSE provides specialized massage programs that are designed to help reduce stress and pain, and improve the sleep patters of veterans who are recovering from injuries suffered in war. Currently, the CAUSE massage programs have been proven to reduce stress and pain by 41 percent.
The organization also generously offers digital entertainment libraries in military hospitals consisting of DVD’s, video games, and gaming systems, and owns special events to help create a positive and cheerful environment for veterans and their families.
The gala, helped raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and raised funds to support the CAUSE mission of promoting “recreation, relaxation, and resiliency for members of the U.S. Armed Services recuperating from injuries” received in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
FOX News Channel’s National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, who is no stranger to the physical and emotional scarring of war, emceed the gala. Griffin, a seasoned military journalist, has covered Operation Enduring Freedom, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, numerous suicide bombings, military incursions, and Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon.
The gala’s keynote speaker, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jeremiah Workman, a nine-year combat veteran and recipient of the Navy Cross, attested to the positive impacts that CAUSE and other veteran support groups have on the lives of more than 500,000 wounded warriors returning home to civilian life, including his own. Currently employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs helping injured veterans receive proper care, SSgt. Workman stated, “CAUSE is and will continue to be there for those that need us, as they were here for us.”
Prior to the start of the event, guests participated in a silent auction that offered gifts such as National Football League Tailgating packages, designer handbags and jewelry, a golf club membership, and numerous books and magazines authored by numerous wounded warriors, and CAUSE supporters.
Country music artist Jennifer Nickerson and singer-songwriter Peyton Tochterman provided patriotic-themed entertainment as guests enjoyed a three-course meal that consisted of a baby spinach salad with cinnamon sugared pecans and grilled apples, herb seared petite filet mignon and braised beef short ribs, and caramelized apple pie cheesecake for dessert.
CAUSE Executive Director Pam Derrow shared with gala guests the numerous ways the organization’s programs have helped wounded warriors adjust to civilian life, proving to them that there are no limitations to being happy and successful regardless of physical and emotional impairments.
“Even when economic times are rough, or the media moves onto other issues, our supporters and believers continue to impact the lives of our wounded service members because it is needed and is the right thing to do,” said Derrow. None should ever underestimate the power of human touch, for sometimes, it’s all we need.”
To help CAUSE’s efforts to eliminate the stigma of invisible wounds such as PTSD and TBI, to support veteran reintegration, or to donate time, money, or valuable goods, please email email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.