About the Program
By: William H Neumeier, PhD
Veterans Day was celebrated on November 11th. This year the entire month of November has been designated in recognition of Veterans and Military Families. In addition, as you may know, Birmingham, Alabama, is home to the oldest Veterans Day parade. The city of Birmingham and the entire country extends gratitude towards Veterans and their families for their sacrifices. The Lakeshore Foundation wholly supports this country’s Veterans, especially those that have sustained injuries.
The Lakeshore Foundation extends its efforts of promoting physical activity, comradery, and health to Veterans and their family members by offering programs designed for service members that sustained physical injuries during their time of service. These services are collectively referred to as Lima Foxtrot. The program title, Lima Foxtrot, is derived from the phonetic alphabet that is commonly used for radio communication. You may be familiar with some of these codes, such as Alpha for the letter A, Bravo for the letter B, and Charlie for the letter C. Lima is the code for the letter L, and Foxtrot is code for the letter F. Thus, the name Lima Foxtrot is the phonetic call sign for the L and F of Lakeshore Foundation.
The Lima Foxtrot program includes multiple “operations,” and each operation has a unique mission. The first operation is Operation Endurance. Operation Endurance provides free of cost access to Lakeshore’s programs for servicemen men and women who sustained an injury during active duty. There are five other operations: Operation Perseverance, Operation Night Vision, Operation Refocus, Operation Rise & Conquer, and Family Camp. These five operations are five day camps hosted at Lakeshore or nearby areas. The goal of each camp is to engage the injured service member in a variety of adapted physical activities, while also promoting a sense of community. Each camp varies slightly in its overall outcome or targeted subgroup. More information about all the Lima Foxtrot programs can be found on the Lakeshore Foundation website, (www.lakeshore.org).
In addition to offering the Lima Foxtrot programs, one of Lakeshore’s goals is to continually improve the services that are offered. At the conclusion of each camp, individuals and the caregiver or family member that may have also attended, are asked to evaluate the program. The feedback obtained from camp participants has allowed Lakeshore to tailor the camps to better suit the needs of injured service members. These evaluations have also provided information for the Lakeshore Foundation’s research division that can be disseminated in efforts to better understand the needs of injured service members worldwide. Once again, Lakeshore is making efforts to improve the lives of people in the local community and across the globe.
Veterans made the decision to endure hardship in order to provide opportunity to everyone in this country. Veterans voluntarily spent time away from home, time away from family, and engaged in difficult acts all in support of a greater cause. Veterans Day and the month of November is an opportunity to display our gratitude for the sacrifices of these brave men and women. Veterans have given us a great deal, and we have the opportunity to repay them for their actions. Many Veterans may struggle with the transition between active duty and civilian life. Physical injury sustained during active duty can make things more difficult for the Veteran and his or her family members. We can all take part in alleviating some of the difficulty by engaging a Veteran. Saying “thank you” can be a good place to start. Encouraging a Veteran to attend Lakeshore with you, engaging with a Veteran during a workout, and working together towards a goal can be other ways of supporting a Veteran. I encourage all Lakeshore members to engage with Veterans. I believe supporting a Veteran could lead to many benefits for you as well. Remember, a Veteran is a driven, selfless individual that invested into a greater good. Promotion of physical activity for everybody, regardless of health status, is a cause that Lakeshore and Veterans can support together. The Lima Foxtrot program, the Lakeshore Foundation, Veterans, and each of us can all join together in promoting health and happiness for everyone.