Rivers of Recovery staff members headed to Washington, D.C., last month to spread the word about our veteran recreational rehabilitation programs, and to thank members of Congress who continue to support our cause.
The short, but jam-packed, trip focused on meeting with key lawmakers who represent the districts that host Rivers of Recovery trips. While some are longtime supporters—like Senator John Boozeman from Arkansas—others are unfamiliar with the work we do in their home states.
“Our goal was to spread the word,” explained Amy Simon, RoR executive director. “We want our nation’s lawmakers to know about our program and hear our veterans’ stories.”
Spreading the Word
During the meeting with Senator Boozeman, Jose Jauregui, RoR director of operations, presented the senator with a Rivers of Recovery fly reel that was signed by past participants.
It was a moment that held a lot of meaning for everyone in the room.
For Jose, it marked another milestone in his journey with Rivers of Recovery—first as a participant, later as a beloved staff member, and now as a representative of the many Rivers of Recovery veterans we serve.
“It meant a great deal to be on Capitol Hill and share how Rivers of Recovery helped me—and how it helps so many veterans,” Jose said. “Rivers of Recovery changed my life. The more people who know what we do and why, the more veterans we can serve.”
The meeting with Senator Boozeman was timely as well, as Rivers of Recovery hosted the first Arkansas trip in our new program expansion just a week later, thanks to the efforts of Levi Crawford, our marketing director and an Arkansas native.
Advocating for veterans in D.C. held a great deal of meaning for Levi.
“A lot of people go through life wondering why they are doing the job they are,” Levi explained. “I was lucky enough to start my career in the Army at the age of 17 knowing why I wanted to do my part in saving the world.
“Then when I was hurt, I lost my career and thought I had lost my purpose. After my first ROR trip I realized I was even more fortunate. I had not lost my purpose. I had just done all I could at serving that goal of saving the world.
“Now my new purpose and career is to help those still in the fight—and those going through the same struggle I went through after being hurt in combat—by working with ROR and showing veterans what ROR showed me.”
You Can Help Advocate for Veterans Too
Interested in sharing your experience with Rivers of Recovery as a participant, donor, volunteer, or supporter? Contact your federal and state lawmakers to tell them your story. Click here for contact information.
We’d like to thank the following members of Congress for taking the time to meet with us…
- Congressman Sean Duffy, Wisconsin
- Congressman Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
- Congressman Jeff Denham, California
- Senator John Boozman, Arkansas
- Congressman Austin Scott, Georgia
- Congressman Joe Wilson, South Carolina
- Congressman Paul Cook, California