It’s no secret that when our veterans come back from their deployment, they have a difficult time assimilating back into our society. Any bit of help is welcomed, but it isn’t always clear what kind of support they need. Ted Curtin, the executive vice president and co-founder of the New Jersey Warriors hockey program, is using sports to help veterans who are disabled with their rehabilitation process. Through a partnership with the New Jersey Devils NHL team, Curtin gives these veterans with disabilities unprecedented access to the game to help them join society after they arrive home from active duty.
Hockey helps vets be on a team again
Being a part of a team is something that inspires a community. It is also one of the key components of sports. The New Jersey Warriors help veterans with disabilities feel a part of a team, create a network of support and connect each other around the game of hockey. Curtin talks about how watching hockey gives them an excuse to be together and be around an exciting sport. The New Jersey Devils give these veterans access to the rink, help them learn how to skate and get them acquainted with the team. Getting the veterans out of the house and participating in a community is an essential part of their rehabilitation process.
Giving students the opportunity to help
Curtin and the New Jersey Warriors also partner up with a student-run agency at Montclair University called HAWK Communications. HAWK Communications is a public-relations firm that sets up a direct line from the New Jersey Devils to the veterans to encourage them to get involved with these activities. They give Montclair students the opportunity to help out those in need while gaining valuable work experience.