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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Alumna Ott Featured on NBC Nightly News|
Laurie Ott Among Those ‘Making a Difference’
Click the following link to view the NBC Nightly News clip.
“I do this work because I believe our soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen deserve excellence from us in return for their service,” Ott said of her role as executive director for the fully funded nonprofit based in Augusta, Ga. Featured in the “Making a Difference” part of the show, the Wounded Warrior Care project aims to expand the Augusta community’s capacity to care for armed services members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, increase existing collaborations and create new partnerships where there are gaps in care.
“Every American should know that the real challenge in Wounded Warrior Care is not what happens to our service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, but rather the bureaucratic battlefield facing them upon return home,” Ott said. “The system of military health care and veterans’ health care is the best in the world, but what is missing is coordination.”
The Wounded Warrior Care Project advocates for service members, veterans and their families. They also serve active-duty service members, veterans and their families in the Augusta area. Medal of Honor recipient and NBC Correspondent Col. Jack Jacobs (Ret.) heard of Ott’s work and helped to advance the story, calling the project “a model for the nation.”
“I was fortunate enough to meet Colonel Jacobs in February, and read his book, ‘If Not Now, When?’ – a chronicle of his service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and what’s needed from leadership in America right now,” Ott said. “It’s a great example of servant leadership, and reinforced my education at Gonzaga.”
Ott’s master thesis was titled, “WMDs and Wounded Warriors: A Comparative Analysis of the Use of Catchphrases in Framing the Debate about War in Iraq and its Consequences.”
The Augusta, Ga.-based Wounded Warrior Care Project, located within the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, is the nation’s only active duty rehabilitation unit located within a U.S. Veterans’ Administration facility that combines resources from the VA and the Department of Defense. The Wounded Warrior Care Project consistently ranks among the top recipients of air evacuees from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The most challenging part of the work I do is framing the issues facing wounded warriors for the public, officials and those inside the bureaucracies,” Ott said. “The soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen who heal here are grateful for the care they get here, and it’s tremendously satisfying to know they are getting what they need.”
For more information on the project, visit its Web site.
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