Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wounded Warriors Recover Through Massage Therapy

By Marine Corps Sgt. Justin Boling
Defense Media Activity – Marine Corps

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 15, 2013 – Her hands heal and relax ill, injured and wounded veterans competing at the 2013 Warrior Games here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Zach Blair, Marine Corps team member, gets a massage before a wheelchair basketball game at the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 12, 2013. Jeanette Falu-Bishop, the founder and executive director of Structure for Wounded Warriors, has offered body work to all competitors at the games. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Boling

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Jeanette Falu-Bishop, the founder and executive director of Structure for Wounded Warriors, is not new to helping out. She has been working for nearly a decade helping veterans with massage therapy.
“I wanted to start a nonprofit to help our wounded veterans,” she said. “We help veterans' physical and emotional recovery through massage and body work.”

The Warrior Games competition puts added stress on some already tested bodies. Wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from the United States and Britain are competing in a multitude of athletic events for the gold and glory.

“After four to five hours of practice or playing, it is great to be able to relax,” said Zach Blair, a Marine Corps team member competing in several events at the games. “It really helps increase your range of motion and makes action easier.”

Blair was in a car accident after only 18 months in the Marine Corps. His injuries included a shattered femur and knee. Falu-Bishop provides hours of service before, during and after events here to military veteran athletes like Blair.

“Just living can cause wear and tear on the body,” said Falu-Bishop. “The military lifestyle can put a lot more physical and emotional stress on the body. Our program helps veterans cope with that.”
The workload is nothing new to Falu-Bishop. In 2002, she provided more than 1,000 hours of care to troops and their families at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany while stationed there with her husband, an active duty airman.

“We specialize in injury recovery, but we can also perform relaxation massages, like Swedish massage and medical massage, if needed,” she said.

Falu-Bishop also assists the American Red Cross, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Fisher House Foundation. In 2006, she received the Presidential Volunteer Award from President George W. Bush.
“I have been a military spouse for more than 14 years, and it wears on my heart, because I know a lot of what these families go through,” she said. “I have been able to help a lot of soldiers and other veterans to help with their recovery.”

Blair said the Warrior Games athletes are grateful for Falu-Bishop’s healing hands.
“A massage really gets the muscles loose and gets you ready for the games,” he said. “We all really appreciate it.”

Gunfighters race for the cure

by Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/15/2013 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho  -- In the early morning light all the eye could behold was a sea of pink humanity spread throughout the streets of Boise, Idaho.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure celebrated its 15th year with an annual 5K run and one mile run/walk option for participants.

"This is a really big deal for my family because both my wife and I have been directly affected by this disease," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Wanzer, 366th Comptroller Squadron station gain technician. "My wife's mother and my grandmother both passed away from cancer and those experiences have made finding a cure personal for us. Being there and seeing all the people who have fought and survived cancer as well as their family and friends showing support, are a few reasons why I participate."

This year's race twisted through downtown streets, eventually ending where it began.

"There were so many people who showed up this year to support the cause that I saw people finishing the race before my family and I even started," Wanzer said. "Seeing all these individuals who have fought, defeated and survived cancer surrounded with such a huge amount of energy and love really shows how worthy a cause this is."

Wanzer and his family brought others from his squadron to the event in an effort to raise awareness about the ways anyone can make a difference in the fight against cancer.

"Some people from my squadron came out to show support as well," Wanzer said. "The military is like an extended family for us since we are stationed so far away from our relatives. One of the Airmen who experienced the race for the first time told me about her grandmother who died from breast cancer.

"She had no clue this type of event even existed and after experiencing it she couldn't stop talking about how moving it was that so many people come together to fight this disease and how inspired she was to participate in the future," he continued. "I also think the large amount of people in the crowd surprised her."

One man in the crowd was excited to see military personnel supporting the event.

"I think it's awesome that folks from the base are here supporting the race," said Tony Mock, a personal trainer from a local business. "Almost everyone has been affected by this disease in some way."

Many participants are already looking forward to the next year's race.

"I'm already excited for the 2014 race because it's great to get out and be involved with the local community," Wanzer said. "It's an awesome way to lift people's spirits, support research to find a cure and have some fun while doing it."