BOISE, Id – The U-S Military provides rehabilitation when a veteran is severely wounded. But once they get military, veterans are often left without a support system or plans for the future. One Idaho group wants to change that.
Jeff Bacon is a retired Naval Officer with 26 years of service. He works with the USO and on trips to Iraq he met injured warriors who inspired him.
Jeff Bacon “I think if I were in the same situation, I would could roll up in the fetal position and give up. I didn’t see that from these men and women of this generation. They all want to keep going, they want to continue to contribute. They acknowledge that they’ve had something happen to them and they say o.k., that’s the new reality, let’s move on.”
But moving on can be difficult. Bacon worried about what happened to veterans who go back to their everyday lives.
Jeff Bacon “The soldiers and marines and airmen and sailors are left pretty much on their own to kind of forge their own path. So what we wanted to do, a group of veterans, is to set up an organization that just kind of gives them a hand to assist them through the next few years of their life.”
That’s how Bacon’s Wyakin Warrior Foundation began. Wyakin is a Native American term that stands for guardian spirit. The Foundation gives injured vets college scholarships, mentorship, and job training. Today, the first five Warriors begin their journey, with scholarships to Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho. Bacon says the Foundation will grow beyond Idaho. He hopes to have 25 veterans in college by 2012.
Copyright 2011 BSPR