October 2022

The Honorable Patrick Murphy Joins HillVets Advisory Board

By |2022-10-25T14:45:51-04:00October 25th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, DC – October 25, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce the appointment of the Honorable Patrick J. Murphy to our Advisory Board.

“We are very excited to have Patrick J. Murphy joining our Advisory Board. Patrick’s passion for the Veteran community and his expertise is highly valued,” said HillVets Founder Justin Brown. “Patrick has been actively involved in HillVets’ mission through our LEAD program and CAPCON policy conference.”

Mr. Patrick Murphy was the first Iraq War Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress in 2007, representing the Eighth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. He served on the Armed Services, Select Intelligence, and Appropriations committees. In 2016, Mr. Murphy was appointed as the 32nd Under Secretary of the Army and Chief Management Officer by President Obama and assumed the duties of Acting Secretary of the Army shortly after.

Mr. Murphy is a guest lecturer for the HillVets LEAD (Leadership, Ethics, Advocacy, Dedication to Self-Improvement) program and participated in HillVets’ CAPCON 7 Conference in July 2022. The LEAD Program is a leadership and professional development course, offering Veterans, spouses, and survivors; active-duty Service Members, Guardsmen and Reservists; Capitol Hill or Executive Branch staffers; and VSO employees growth in the policy and politics ecosystem with tools, networking, and mentorship to take on leadership positions in policy.

“I am honored and thrilled to be a part of this amazing team,” said Mr. Murphy. “Their mission clearly aligns with my strong belief that our country needs more veterans in public service after the military. I’m excited about what we can do together.”

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Senator Raphael Warnock Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-10-04T08:18:24-04:00October 4th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, DC – October 4, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) has signed on as our newest HillVets Fellowship Ambassador. HillVets Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets Fellowship program and consider HillVets Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community undertake successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, service members, Reservists, members of National Guard, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a small monthly stipend. The HillVets Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“I am proud to be an Ambassador for HillVets,” remarked Senator Warnock. “One of my top priorities as a Senator representing Georgia’s Veterans is to ensure they have access to the care and benefits they have earned. I believe by bringing more veterans to the halls of Congress, we will know better what the needs of Veterans are and how best to address them.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of Senator Warnock and all our HillVets Fellowship Ambassadors that we can provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge, expertise, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“We are excited to have Senator Warnock join the ‘family’ of HillVets Fellowship Ambassadors and look forward to working with his office,” said Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs. “The addition of a newer Member of Congress shows that both knowledge of our program and the value of having a HillVets Fellow placed in one’s office are spreading and is a testament to HillVets’ success.”

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September 2022

Representative Jack Bergman Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-09-21T08:45:12-04:00September 21st, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, DC – September 21, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI-01) has signed on as our newest HillVets House Ambassador. HillVets House Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets House Fellowship program and consider HillVets House Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community lead successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets House Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, service members, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a monthly stipend. The HillVets House Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“Now more than ever, we need more people involved in government who know the value of sacrificial service. HillVets has been instrumental in propelling our great Veterans to opportunities, support systems, and training for careers in government,” said Representative Bergman. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the House Ambassador Program and help create new opportunities for Veterans’ to be involved in our legislative process.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of Representative Bergman and all our HillVets House Ambassadors that we can provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge, expertise, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“Congressman Bergman has long been a friend of the HillVets community,” said Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs, “so we’re very pleased to make that relationship official. But as a Marine Corps spouse, myself, I am even more so looking forward to working with General Bergman and his staff in the future.”

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Representative Hank Johnson Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-09-20T11:01:12-04:00September 20th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – September 20, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) has signed on as our newest HillVets House Ambassador. HillVets House Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets House Fellowship program and consider HillVets House Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community lead successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets House Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, service members, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a monthly stipend. The HillVets House Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“I’m proud to join the HillVets family by becoming a Congressional Ambassador,” said Congressman Johnson (GA-04). “Veterans, service-members, and surviving family members have served our nation in the most honorable and profound way possible, so ensuring they have a seat at the policy table on Capitol Hill is a win-win. I look forward to continuing the great HillVets tradition of connecting our veterans — who are interested in governance, international affairs, policy, advocacy, and politics — to fellowships on the Hill.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of Representative Johnson and all our HillVets House Ambassadors that we can provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge, expertise, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“It’s always wonderful when we are able to welcome a new HillVets Ambassador to our community,” said Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs. “But to welcome a Member like Representative Johnson who has such a wealth of experience is downright thrilling. We look forward to placing a HillVets Fellow in his office in the future.”

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HillVets’ mission is to serve the military-connected community in and around our Nation’s capital with opportunity, mentorship, housing, peer support, education, and networking in their pursuit of second service in government, and the HillVets House Fellowship program is but one path we utilize to fulfill it.

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August 2022

Representative August Pfluger Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-08-18T10:13:50-04:00August 18th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – August 18, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Representative August Pfluger (TX-11) has signed on as our newest HillVets House Ambassador. HillVets House Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets House Fellowship program and consider HillVets House Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community lead successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets House Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, Service Members, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a monthly stipend. The HillVets House Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“As a former fighter pilot who served 20 years in the military, I have seen first-hand some of the many challenges that our veterans face upon returning home. Our Nation bears a responsibility to ensure every military member who puts their life on the line to serve our country receives the care they earned when they return home, and no group is better equipped to advocate for these heroes than the veterans and family members who personally made these sacrifices, said Representative Pfluger. “I am proud to partner with HillVets in its mission to place more veterans, transitioning service members, and Gold Star family members in impactful positions in Congress. It is an honor to work alongside their organization to support and expand career and advocacy opportunities for our heroes through fellowships on Capitol Hill.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of Representative Pfluger and all our HillVets House Ambassadors that we can provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge expertise, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“As a Veteran himself, Representative Pfluger understands the vital importance that the voice of the military-connected community can contribute to public policy-making,” noted Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs. “We are extremely grateful to the Congressman for joining the growing list of HillVets House Ambassadors and look forward to working with office in the future.”

About HillVets

HillVets’ mission is to serve the military-connected community in and around our Nation’s capital with opportunity, mentorship, housing, peer support, education, and networking in their pursuit of second service in government, and the HillVets House Fellowship program is but one path we utilize to fulfill it.

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Senator Lisa Murkowski Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-08-11T14:26:11-04:00August 11th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – August 11, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska has signed on as our newest HillVets House Ambassador. HillVets House Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets House Fellowship program and consider HillVets House Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community lead successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets House Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, Service-members, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a monthly stipend. The HillVets House Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“I’m proud to be an Ambassador for the HillVets Program which provides veterans, service members, and surviving spouses access to opportunities, training, and support in their pursuit of continued service in government. We should be doing all that we can to support those who have served our nation honorably under the flag,” said Senator Murkowski. “Having a HillVets Fellow serving in my office over the past year, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of this program, the caliber of individuals, and what they bring to the table—through impressive skillsets, discipline, and drive. The late Congressman Don Young was a proud veteran and early supporter of this great program, and I take it as an honor to pick up where he left off supporting and advocating for HillVets.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of HillVets House Ambassadors like Senator Murkowski that we are able to provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“It is very exciting to add someone like Senator Lisa Murkowski to the ever-growing list of HillVets House Ambassadors,” said Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs. “The HillVets House Fellow who recently finished placement in her office had a fantastic experience, and we look forward to placing another Fellows with her in the near future.”

About HillVets

HillVets’ mission is to serve the military-connected community in and around our Nation’s capital with opportunity, mentorship, housing, peer support, education, and networking in their pursuit of second service in government, and the HillVets House Fellowship program is but one path we utilize to fulfill it.

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June 2022

Representative Mike Levin Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-06-14T16:40:01-04:00June 15th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – June 15, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) has signed on as our newest HillVets House Ambassador. HillVets House Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets House Fellowship program and consider HillVets House Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community lead successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets House Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, Service-members, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a monthly stipend. The HillVets House Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“As Vice Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, I’m determined to ensure that no veteran goes hungry, homeless, or jobless,” said Rep. Levin. “With thousands of veterans and military families around Camp Pendleton, I am honored to fight for them and improve the benefits and services they have earned and deserve. We have a lot of work ahead to fulfill the promises we’ve made to our veterans, and I’m proud to partner with HillVets to do that important work.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of Congressman Levin and our other HillVets House Ambassadors that we are able to provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“We are thrilled to have Congressman Levin join the family of HillVets House Ambassadors,” said Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs & Communications. “It will be such a pleasure to work with him and his office in the future to increase the voice of the military-connected community among Capitol Hill staffers.”

About HillVets

HillVets’ mission is to serve the military-connected community in and around our Nation’s capital with opportunity, mentorship, housing, peer support, education, and networking in their pursuit of second service in government, and the HillVets House Fellowship program is but one path we utilize to fulfill it.

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May 2022

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Becomes HillVets House Ambassador

By |2022-05-27T11:28:00-04:00May 27th, 2022|Media|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC – Thursday, May 26, 2022

HillVets is proud to announce that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) has signed on as our newest HillVets House Ambassador. HillVets House Ambassadors are Members of Congress who publicly support the HillVets House Fellowship program and consider HillVets House Fellows for placement in their office to undertake substantive policy work. These Ambassadors are committed to assisting the military-connected community lead successful and impactful careers in the public policy realm.

HillVets House Fellowship (HVHF) program provides Veterans, Service-members, and surviving family members who wish to pursue a career in government, policy, and/or advocacy, the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Fellow in a Congressional office. Fellows develop relationships with peers and mentors while gaining substantive exposure to and understanding of all facets of the legislative process. Taking part in such experiences provides individuals with the necessary skills to find full-time employment in a policy-related position. Furthermore, HillVets offers safe, furnished, free housing for any of its Fellows who need it, as well as a monthly stipend. The HillVets House Fellowship program also provides numerous ways to broaden a Fellow’s professional network and a plethora of educational opportunities.

“I’m proud to be a Congressional Ambassador for HillVets,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This is an excellent program that helps ensure veterans can leverage their experience and expertise to continue to serve our country through a career in government. I’ll continue to support veterans in my office, in my state, and across the country.”

HillVets believes that the voices of military-connected individuals need to be heard throughout the policymaking process. It is with the help of Senator Cortez Masto and our other HillVets House Ambassadors that we are able to provide them with the chance to contribute their lived experience, knowledge, and perceptions to the issues that most impact them.

“It was such an honor to meet Senator Cortez Masto and welcome her as a HillVets House Ambassador,” said Jodi Harman, HillVets Director of Programs & Communications. “We look forward to the day we place a capable, motivated HillVets House Fellow into her office.”

About HillVets

HillVets’ mission is to serve the military-connected community in and around our Nation’s capital with opportunity, mentorship, housing, peer support, education, and networking in their pursuit of second service in government, and the HillVets House Fellowship program is but one path we utilize to fulfill it.

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Leia’s Leadership

By |2022-05-04T08:29:26-04:00May 4th, 2022|Blog|

By Betty Rhoades, Executive Director, HillVets Foundation

10 Reasons Why Princess Leia Was Totally Boss - AIM Institute

May 4th is Star Wars Day (“May the fourth be with you” – get it?), so it’s a good day to remind folks that leadership lessons aren’t limited to just real-life people and organizations. If we choose to, we can learn all kinds of things from the fictional characters we admire – and even the ones we don’t.

In my opinion, the greatest leader in Star Wars canon is General Princess Leia Skywalker Organa Solo – and yes, ALL her titles and names are important. Here’s why:

* She was fearless AND empathetic – Leaders are always asked to accept and manage a certain amount of risk. Leia understood this, and she never hesitated to grab a blaster or pilot a speeder through the forests of Endor. But to be effective, leaders can’t be blowing things up (literally or figuratively) 100% of the time – they also have to relate to the people around them, to make those risks more palatable. Leia understood the pain of loss, whether it was her home planet or her son, and she was able to use that to empathize with the people she led. That empathy engendered loyalty and trust among her team, which of course made them more willing to follow her into proverbial battle.

*She was a master communicator, whether she was inspiring her team or sassing her adversaries – Leaders need to be able to convey a variety of messages, both at the individual and team levels. Leia could move seamlessly from strategic discussions to inspirational speeches to one-on-one instruction and guidance. She even communicated deftly with her enemies, distracting and misleading them. No matter the circumstances, Leia was able to craft clear, compelling messages – a skill that effective leaders must master, even if they’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

* She knew how to delegate and how to motivate – As much as I’d like to believe that Leia could have saved the galaxy all by herself, she was much more self-aware. She often delegated tasks and gave others their chances to shine. Delegation is as much about talent development as it is self-preservation, and Leia was also able to adjust her approach to bring out the best in a variety of colleagues. For instance, Leia’s interactions with her brother Luke focus on tactfully acknowledging his emotions and gracefully pointing the way. In contrast, when she engages with Han Solo, Leia often chooses direct, borderline insulting language – but hey, I guess it worked out okay for her and her favorite stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf-herder (okay, maybe her language in that case was more than borderline insulting).

* She had rock solid belief in her team, her mission, and her badass self – No matter the odds or the plot twists, there was never any question that Leia was dedicated to the greater good. She was laser-focused on her mission, and she exuded confidence that inspired her team, even when the going got tough. Leia was an absolute Jedi master at straddling the line between assurance and arrogance, which then gave the other rebels the confidence that they, too, could make the galaxy a better, safer, more just place. It may seem simple, but this kind of conviction is hard to come by – and she demonstrated it even at the darkest of times.

Pretty impressive, huh? Oh, and Leia did ALL of that while people underestimated her (at best) or actively degraded her because she was a woman. And she did SOME of that while dressed in a supremely uncomfortable gold bikini (don’t even get me started).

Now…will someone get this big walking carpet out of her way?

Who are your favorite fictional leaders?

December 2021

HillVets and WWP Announce Fellowship Selection

By |2021-12-08T10:18:38-05:00December 8th, 2021|Media|

WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 8, 2021) – Today the HillVets Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) announced U.S. Navy veteran Kirsten Laha-Walsh as the recipient of the inaugural HillVets-WWP Fellowship.

“Kirsten Laha-Walsh is the perfect choice to be the first HillVets-Wounded Warrior Project Fellow. As a Navy veteran and caregiver for her retired Marine Corps spouse and Purple Heart recipient, she has a passion for empowering and supporting wounded veterans,” said HillVets Foundation Executive Director Betty Rhoades. “Kirsten just completed the HillVets LEAD program as part of Cohort 6, and we are so proud that she has chosen to continue her public policy and advocacy training. We’re humbled that she has put her trust in HillVets and Wounded Warrior Project, and we know she will make a big impact on the military-connected community.”

Announced earlier this year, the HillVets-WWP Fellowship is unique in that the fellow will serve six months as a legislative fellow for the U.S. House For Country Caucus, a bipartisan group of members of Congress who are all U.S. military veterans. The fellowship will be followed by a six-month rotation working at WWP with the Government & Community Relations team. The fellowship is open to post-9/11 veterans interested in pursuing a career in advocacy and public policy.

“After a fantastic experience in the LEAD Cohort, I was inspired and excited to move on to this incredible fellowship and partnership,” Laha-Walsh said. “I look forward to continuing to advocate for military and veteran families and learn about macro policy on the national level.”

Laha-Walsh served in the U.S. Navy, where she worked as a hospital corpsman, specializing as a respiratory therapist. She provided both outpatient and inpatient support for active-duty members, dependents, and beneficiaries while serving as a non-commissioned officer. Prior to her service, she worked in the entertainment sector focusing on logistics and coordination.

“We’re excited for Kirsten to take part in this fellowship, which will help make her an even stronger advocate for our nation’s veterans,” said Jose Ramos, WWP vice president, Government and Community Relations. “We hope she will be the first in a long line of next-generation advocates for our military service members and veterans who benefit from this partnership.”

Laha-Walsh is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Alabama focusing on the military and veteran-affiliated populations.

“She is a frontline leader who leads with her head and heart,” said Dr. David L. Albright, University Distinguished Research Professor and Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research at The University of Alabama, and Director of the Office for Military Families and Veterans at the School of Social Work. “Kirsten will be an asset as she is committed to the mission of the social work profession to enhance human wellbeing and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with a focus on military and veteran families.”

About HillVets

HillVets’ mission is to serve the community of veterans, service members, and supporters in our nation’s capital with opportunity, mentorship, housing, peer support, and training in their pursuit of continued service in government.

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

 

 

HillVets Media Contact

Betty Rhoades, Executive Director

betty@hillvets.org, 202-629-7937

 

Wounded Warrior Project Media Contact

Ed Frank, Senior Public Affairs / Communications Specialist

efrank@woundedwarriorproject.org, 904-510-5504

 

UA social work Media Contact

Nicholas Finch, Communications Specialist

njfinch@ua.edu, 205.348.3942

 

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