Posts tagged veterans
The University of Colorado Boulder will honor the nation’s veterans, including CU-Boulder’s own faculty, staff and student veterans, through Veterans Week, beginning with a Nov. 9 Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. in the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom.
The free, public ceremony will feature guest speaker Michael Dakduk, executive director of the national organization Student Veterans of America. A reception will follow in the UMC Veterans Lounge.
In the Marine Corps, Dakduk was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and to Afghanistan in 2007, where he earned military decorations for distinguished service in combat. He left active duty in 2008 and completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he organized student veterans on campus as a chapter of Student Veterans of America.
“We take this time to acknowledge and express gratitude for the sacrifices of those still serving and those who have served so gallantly and selflessly in our armed forces,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “This weekend, we can each take a moment to reflect on how much we owe the silent heroes in our midst and reach out and thank a vet for this outstanding service. The University of Colorado Boulder joins the nation on this one day of the year our country has set aside to honor our veterans and acknowledge the legacy of their steadfast defense of our American ideals, principles and liberties.”
Also on Nov. 9, CU-Boulder will host Military Student Day to assist military service members interested in transitioning from military service to life as a college student.
CU-Boulder is home to about 650 student veterans and 250 faculty and staff vets, according to Michael Roberts, program manager of CU-Boulder’s Veteran Services office on campus.
“The Office of Veteran Services here at CU-Boulder continues to build a robust program supporting our veterans transitioning from the military to college and ultimately to the work force,” Roberts said. “We have a group of committed staff and faculty leaders who are eager to support our student veterans.”
Student veterans can visit the Student Veterans Center in the Center for Community building, room S482. The center serves as a one-stop shop to support student veterans.
One of the most sought-after services is help with the GI Bill, Roberts said.
“Most veterans are taking advantage of this great opportunity they earned while serving our nation,” he said. “The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers all in-state tuition and fees as well as providing a monthly living allowance. In Boulder, it is quite substantial — $1,500 per month while they are in school.”
The CU-Boulder Law School also recently opened the Veteran’s Legal Clinic to help unite the Colorado legal community and students at CU as they work together to develop a support system for veterans across the state.
Mark Fogg, president of the Colorado Bar Association and a Colorado Law alumnus, recognized the need for pro bono legal services in the veteran’s community in Colorado, said Andy Hartman, an adjunct professor and director of the experiential learning program at Colorado Law.
“The bar wanted to have veteran’s clinics in different cities throughout Colorado including Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Grand Junction, and they wanted a program at CU-Boulder and the University of Denver to serve their student veterans and their families,” Hartman said.
Attorneys from the Colorado Bar Association work with student volunteers from Colorado Law to meet with veterans and address some of their legal questions. Neither party is financially compensated for their work, although it affords practicing attorneys and students the opportunity to fulfill their public service pledge to provide legal services that benefit the community.
Kevin Brown, a third-year law student at CU-Boulder and a former attack pilot for the Marines, has a vivid memory of the Veterans Legal Clinic’s first client.
“The very first person that walked into the clinic last November on Veterans Day was a homeless veteran that needed many different kinds of help,” said Brown. “To see a veteran who was homeless and in need and to watch the Colorado Bar Association and the volunteer attorneys come together and work to provide assistance and help to him was inspiring.”
Other campus observances for Veterans Day include:
Nov. 9, at 6 p.m., in Old Main Chapel
The CU-Boulder Veteran Services office will have a public viewing of the documentary “Veterans Day 11.11.11.” The feature-length documentary examines what it means to be a veteran in America through the stories of several men and women vets who served during times of peace and war.
Pat Woodard, the documentary’s co-executive producer and writer; Richard Deki, one of the veterans featured in the documentary; and Suzanne Popovich Chandler, a photographer whose work is featured in the documentary, will be present to interact with the audience during and after the film.
Nov. 14, 6-9 p.m., Old Main Chapel
A public showing of the documentary “The Welcome,” an award-winning film that offers a “fiercely intimate view of life after war: the fear, anger and isolation of post-traumatic stress that affects vets and family members alike.”
Nov. 17, 9 a.m., UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom
The annual veterans pre-game party honors CU’s military families as well as members of the military across the Front Range community. For more information contact the Veteran Services office at 303-492-7322.
Housing assistance staff hopeful success will lead to additional voucher awards
Boulder County, Colo. – After only four months, Boulder County has utilized nearly 70 percent of the federal vouchers it received earlier this year to provide rental assistance to homeless military veterans.
Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced an award of $229,620 to help coordinate housing and other crucial supports for chronically homeless veterans in Boulder County. The assistance is in the form of 25 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers which since July have been administered by the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS) in partnership with the VA. As of Veterans Day 2012, 17 of the vouchers have been issued to homeless veterans. Of these, 11 veterans have been fully housed.
“Knowing how many homeless veterans we have here in Boulder County, I’m not surprised by how quickly these vouchers are being utilized,” said Willa Williford, director of BCDHHS’ Housing Division. “But it’s a great feeling to know we’re opening doors for people who really need help.” As of January, the homeless population count was nearly 1,800 individuals in Boulder County. About 10 percent of the county’s homeless are veterans.
Housing Assistance Program Manager Amanda Guthrie noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs has indicated Boulder County’s work with the VASH vouchers thus far has been excellent. “According to their feedback, we’re quite successful in part because we’re philosophically well-aligned to serve this population, making us strong candidates for additional funding in the future,” she said.
BCDHHS is able to link clients to a wide range of services, including food and financial assistance, health coverage, and housing counseling, among others. In addition to rental assistance, the agency has been working closely with the VA to help stabilize the formerly-homeless veterans and support them on a path to self-sufficiency.
University of Colorado Boulder researchers will be watching closely when South African bilateral leg amputee and sprinter Oscar Pistorius, dubbed “The Blade Runner,” makes his way to the starting block for the 400-meter sprint in the 2012 London Olympics.
Professors Rodger Kram and Alena Grabowski of the integrative physiology department have been involved in several studies analyzing the performance of amputee athletes, including Pistorius, who use blade-like, carbon fiber leg prostheses in track events. In 2007, Pistorius was barred from international competition by officials from the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, who ruled his Cheetah Flex-Foot leg prostheses conferred him an advantage over other runners.
Barred from competition, then exonerated
The decision was based in large part on a German study commissioned by the IAAF. However, data presented in April 2008 by a team that included Kram and Grabowski to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland — an international group set up to settle disputes in sports — showed Pistorius gained no physiological advantage from the Cheetah prostheses over competitors. The team’s evidence and testimony played a key role in overturning the decision, allowing Pistorius to compete in able-bodied events.
“The methodology of the German study that involved measuring Oscar’s oxygen consumption while running was flawed,” said Kram, who has been measuring the oxygen consumption of runners since 1983. “When we had a chance to properly measure Oscar we found that while he is quite economical in oxygen consumption compared to your average Joe, his values are well within what would be expected for a high-caliber athlete.”
At the arbitration hearings in Switzerland, Kram also argued that if a prosthetic device provides a mechanical advantage, it would very likely provide an energetic or physiological advantage. “Since there is no energetic advantage, it infers that the prostheses do not provide a mechanical advantage either,” said Kram.
Although Pistorius subsequently failed to make the 2008 Olympic team, he was selected by South Africa’s Olympic Committee last week to run in both the individual 400 meters and a leg of the 4×400 meter relay in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, which begin on July 27. “I was delighted that Oscar was selected,” said Kram. “I was sure he’d be named to the 4×400 meter relay, but being named to the 400-meter individual event was a surprise.”
Since 2008, the research team involving CU-Boulder has continued its studies. In a 2010 study led by Grabowski, researchers used force-measuring treadmills to analyze the biomechanics of unilateral amputees — those with one amputated leg — over a wide range of running speeds. The team found the force produced by the prosthetic, carbon fiber leg was 9 percent less than that of the unaffected leg. “Applying force to the ground is crucial in sprinting events,” said Grabowski.
“We inferred that running-specific prostheses impair force generation and likely limit top sprinting speed,” said Grabowski, who received her doctorate under Kram in 2008 and recently returned to CU-Boulder as a research faculty member after doing postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Other authors on the 2010 paper included Kram, Craig McGowan of the University of Idaho, William McDermott of the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray, Utah, and Hugh Herr of MIT.
In a 2012 paper by the same group and led by McGowan, the leg stiffness of Paralympic sprinters with both unilateral and bilateral leg amputations was compared to non-amputee sprinters across a range of speeds. The team found leg stiffness remained constant or increased with speed in non-amputees but decreased in sprinting amputees.
“During running, the leg behaves much like a spring, and the stiffness of the leg greatly influences the overall mechanics of the runner,” said Grabowski. “The study indicates that the prosthetic device limits the ability of a sprinter to change their leg stiffness during running.” In the future, she said, researchers may be able to design a prosthetic device with “adaptive stiffness” that would more accurately emulate the mechanics of a biological ankle during sprinting.
Research fueled by veterans needs
Grabowski, whose work is funded by the Veterans Administration, is particularly interested in designing better prosthetic ankle devices for military veterans or those on active duty who have undergone amputations. In collaboration with the Denver Department of Veterans Affairs, Grabowski is beginning a research effort to further develop battery-powered ankle-foot prostheses for walking and running. Such prostheses have the potential to restore mobility to users similar to the mobility they had prior to amputation, she said.
The research team is interested in locating potential test subjects in the Denver-Boulder area with leg amputations to participate in lab studies. “CU-Boulder is actively pursuing research that aims to improve the lives of amputees, particularly veterans and current military personnel,” she said. Potential study candidates can contact Grabowski at Alena.Grabowski@colorado.edu.
Research in Kram’s Locomotion Laboratory on the CU-Boulder campus goes far beyond athletics. Collaborating faculty and students are targeting the energetic costs of walking, including uphill and downhill walking in older adults; the energetics of passive cycling to treat and prevent obesity and heart disease; and studies on animal locomotion, including kangaroos, tortoises and elephants.
For more information on the CU-Boulder Locomotion Laboratory visit http://www.colorado.edu/intphys/research/locomotion.html. For more information on CU’s integrative physiology department visithttp://www.colorado.edu/intphys/.
1 hour ago
0 ViewsBoulder Concert Band performs on 2012 Memorial Day
2 hours ago
Boulder Channel 1 and Jann Scott presents The Boulder Concert Band performs on 2012 Memorial Day … more
Boulder Parks and Recreation launches recreation pass program for veterans and active duty military personnel
The Boulder Parks and Recreation Department will offer a special recreation facility pass program for veterans, active duty and reservist military personnel beginning Monday, May 21. Boulder City Councilmember Tim Plass proposed the program, which was approved by City Council on May 15.
The program includes a one-time, free, 90-day recreation facility pass for post-9/11 veterans who are City of Boulder residents. It also offers a 25 percent discount on annual passes for all military personnel and veterans who reside in the City of Boulder or Boulder County. The program is not retroactive for current pass holders. The passes provide entry to all three city recreation centers, two outdoor pools and the Boulder Reservoir.
“We are honored to offer this program and provide an opportunity for returning veterans and other service personnel to participate in health and fitness programs in our local community,” said Alice Guthrie, recreation superintendent for the Parks and Recreation Department.
To qualify, applicants must have served in one of the following branches of service, identified by the Department of Defense:
● Air Force
● Coast Guard
● National Guard
● Merchant Marines
To receive the free 90-day recreation pass, applicants must go to the Parks and Recreation administrative offices at 3198 Broadway Ave. and show a DD-214 form with separation date and a photo ID. To receive the 25 percent discount, applicants must bring either a DD-214 form, valid Veterans ID from the Veterans Affairs Office or valid Active Duty or Reservist ID to one of the three city recreation centers (North Boulder Recreation Center at 3170 Broadway Ave., East Boulder Community Center at 5660 Sioux Drive or South Boulder Recreation Center at 1360 Gillaspie Drive).
The Parks and Recreation Department also offers veterans a variety of therapeutic recreation programs through the EXPAND (EXciting Programs, Adventures and New Dimensions) program.
For more information on the veterans and active duty military personnel facility pass program, visit www.BoulderParks-Rec.org.
Boulder County receiving federal grant to house homeless veterans
First-ever investment will also bring VA case management to Boulder County
Boulder County, Colo. – As a result of an interagency collaboration, Boulder County will receive $229,620 to help house homeless veterans. The grant, announced earlier this week, will come to the county in the form of 25 vouchers known as VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) awards.
The federal departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) are working together for the first time to simultaneously meet the immediate need for housing and the ongoing need for human services for chronically homeless veterans and their families. While this collaboration has been underway since 2009, this is the first time Boulder County has received the federal grant focused specifically on housing homeless veterans.
Boulder County’s Department of Housing and Human Services (HHS) will administer the program. HHS Housing Division Director Willa Williford noted that the VASH vouchers come at a crucial time. “Boulder County has the second largest homeless population in the Denver metro area,” Williford said. “In the past five years, we’ve seen homelessness in Boulder County nearly double; the most recent count was almost 1,800 individuals. Many people are surprised to learn that 10 percent of Boulder County’s homeless are veterans, so while these vouchers just scratch the surface, they’re a welcome acknowledgement of the depth of need in our community.”
The Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services, in collaboration with Boulder Housing Partners and the Longmont Housing Authority, are working with the VA on a timeline for implementation of the vouchers and specifics around how the program will work. The VA also plans to place a case worker in Boulder County, and for veterans this will help ease the stress of needing to travel to Denver for services.
The VASH vouchers awarded to Boulder County are largely the result of advocacy at the federal level by Boulder Housing Partners. The grant is also due in part to strong support from Sen. Mark Udall and Reps. Jared Polis and Cory Gardner.
The Boulder County Commissioners have also been supportive of the effort. “This grant will help some of our veterans find a safe and affordable place to live,” Commissioner Deb Gardner said. “Creating that stability for people is a critical piece of the county’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and we’re thankful for the collaboration that brought this program together. We look forward to working with all willing partners as we work to reduce and end homelessness.”
The University of Colorado Boulder will host Military Student Day on March 21 to assist military service members interested in transitioning from military service to life as a college student.
Co-sponsored by CU-Boulder’s Office of Admissions and the Office of Veteran Services, the daylong event is aimed at supporting Colorado’s service members who are interested in pursuing college degrees, specifically those who are close to military retirement and separation, according to Michael Roberts, program manager of CU’s Veteran Services office.
“Military Student Day is designed to allow service members the opportunity to ask questions of current CU-Boulder staff and student veterans about the admissions process and what it is like to be a CU Buff,” Roberts said. “We’re committed to supporting Colorado’s military community and are excited about this inaugural event to assist service members in making an informed decision about their educational pursuits.”
The event will include specific information sessions on veteran educational benefits and veteran services, provide personalized counseling advice on how to transition to a college environment, and offer advice on admission, academics and transferring to CU-Boulder. In addition, participants are invited to take a guided campus tour and attend a sample lecture. In the afternoon there will be breakout sessions with campus faculty, staff and student veterans to discuss specific questions about transitioning to campus life.
Service members interested in attending the event should contact Jack Kroll in CU-Boulder’s Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Roberts in CU-Boulder’s Office of Veteran Services at email@example.com.
Nine local wheelchair athletes will compete in the wheelchair category at this year’s Bolder Boulder on Monday, May 30. The athletes have been training with Jacob Heilveil, the 2007 Bolder Boulder wheelchair champion and a staff member with the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department’s EXPAND program. Boulder’s wheelchair racing program is part of EXPAND’s Paralympic Sport Club.
The wheelchair athletes competing in the Bolder Boulder include injured veterans and Paralympic gold medalists. The group practices from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the CU Potts Field.
The EXciting Programs Adventures and New Dimensions (EXPAND) program is part of the city’s Park and Recreation Department. The program is dedicated to helping people living with disabilities improve and gain new recreation and leisure skills that enhance participants’ overall well being and quality of life. The EXPAND Duck Race, held at 4 p.m. on Memorial Day at the Boulder Creek Festival, is a fundraiser for these programs.
– CITY –
A free fundraising luncheon. Veterans Helping Veterans Now (VHVnow), started in 2007 by a Vietnam Veteran, connects veterans in need of service to volunteer veterans and addresses the unmet needs of veterans and their families in Boulder County. VHVnow’s many programs help veterans feel less stress and isolation, and build stronger coping skills and a sense of self-sufficiency. This helps strengthen our communities.
- September 23, 2010 11:00 am
- September 23, 2010 1:00 pm
- Spice of Life Events Center
- 5706 Araphahoe Ave., Boulder, CO, United States