By Senior Airman Jacob Skovo-Lane, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 22, 2017
Dave Nelson Jr., a retired U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare operator and search and rescue swimmer, bowls during an event hosted by the Office of the Warrior Advocate (OWA) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Dec. 21, 2017. The OWA reached out to many organizations in the Omaha and Offutt community to share what resources are available on base for Wounded Worriors, disabled veterans and their families through bowling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)
Wounded Warriors and disabled veterans bowl during an event hosted by the Office of the Warrior Advocate at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Dec. 21, 2017. The adaptive bowling event aimed to strengthen the community of injured active duty service members and veterans the office has been building since it was established in October 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)
The warriors, vets and their families played games of nine pin "No Tap" bowling, in which knocking down 9 pins counts as a strike. They ate together and held a drawing for various prizes. In addition to the fun, participants had the opportunity to network and share experiences which has the potential to be just as helpful when recovering as medical care.
“Through the OWA, I finally got to meet somebody else with the same injury as me," said Tech. Sgt. William Royster, OWA community outreach liaison. "I got to ask him questions and talk about day to day stuff like, 'have you experienced this, did you do this, did this happen to you?' All of it was something he had been through too, and I kind of got to feel normal for the first time. I have even met with a spouse of someone who has the same injury as me. She asked me all these questions and I feel like I was able help her understand what her husband is going through and hopefully ease the strain on their marriage."
The OWA reached out to many organizations in the Omaha and Offutt community to share what resources are available on base. Members of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans Association and Veterans of Foreign Wars were invited as well as those who receive correspondence from the OWA and the Airman & Family Readiness Center, including those who are still serving.
Through the bottom-up approach the OWA takes they are able to focus on an individual’s needs, whether that means helping them continue to serve or transition out the office.
“I attended my annual Green Dot training the other day and they spoke about creating and community and a sense of purpose," said Maj. Mike Shick, OWA director. "That's what the OWA does for its wounded warrior community. The Airman's creed says 'I will never leave an airman behind,' and that is exactly what we are trying to do."
If you or someone you know would like more information on the OWA please visit room 324 of Building C on Offutt AFB, call 402-294-7083 or email email@example.com