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Penn State Program To Help Wounded Warriors
Date:11/5/2008

Training will prepare military recreation managers to assist service

members returning to active duty

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 65,000 military personnel have been wounded by hostile and nonhostile acts in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. In addition to advances in medical care, recreation programming is playing an important role in reintegrating these individuals into military, family and community life. To help these wounded warriors, Penn State has developed a first-of-its-kind training program for military recreation managers worldwide, a program the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has agreed to fund through 2011. The first is planned for Jan. 11-15 at University Park campus.

"The Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors program provides the knowledge, tools and resources recreation managers need to integrate active-duty wounded warriors into their existing recreation programs," said Ruth Ann Jackson, executive director of the Penn State Hospitality Leadership Institute and co-principal investigator for the project.

Inclusive recreation refers to modifying activities and using adaptive equipment to enable individuals with physical, behavioral or emotional limitations to participate in recreation. For example, military personnel with amputations may require different prosthetic feet to rock climb, stabilization straps to lift weights and flotation aids to swim; while those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who experience adverse reactions to crowds and loud noises may need recreation activities structured in quieter settings enabling participation with family and friends, according to Tammy Buckley, Penn State co-principal investigator of the Inclusive Recreation program.

"Active participation in recreation promotes health and wellness, increases combat readiness and reduces incidents of suicide and destructive behaviors associated with PTSD," added Buckley.


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SOURCE Penn State Outreach
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