FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MYSTIC, Conn. – Retired U.S. Air Force Major J. Robert Scoggins of Colorado really didn’t want to ask for help. He is starting a farm and raising a family now that his career as a rescue pilot ended with severe injuries after twelve years and multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa.
He really needed a truck to work the farm and transport their produce to markets in the Colorado Springs and Denver areas.
Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. is a nonprofit with the mission to obtain equipment for injured Veterans who are starting a business. In partnership with the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce, they stepped up to find a truck for Scoggins.
He received his commission as an officer after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2003. He was deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq; Khandahar Airfield and Camp Bastion, Afghanistan; and Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, Horn of Africa.
He was a combat rescue pilot, leading a six-man combat helicopter rescue team (HH-60G Pave Hawk Combat Search and Rescue Helicopters). He engaged in 252 combat missions, rescuing and recovering 291 individuals and is credited with saving 151 lives. More than 200 of those missions and nearly all of the 291 Americans, allies, and civilians he rescued were in Afghanistan in 2010.
He was medically retired with 100 percent combat injuries in 2015.
“When we learned of this amazing warrior’s combat history and subsequent injuries, we set out to find the truck he so desperately needed,” said Cathy Cook, executive director of Work Vessels for Vets. “Maj. Scoggins has been trying to clear stumps and haul products with a hand wheelbarrow. That’s not easy with a leg brace!”
Work Vessels for Vets enlisted some help to put together enough funding to get the truck. Cook called Kevin Brown, a retired U.S. Army colonel, President & CEO, U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
Brown worked with Chris Seeger, Founding Partner of Seeger Weiss LLP, and a stalwart donor and supporter of the Warrior Games who provided the additional $10,000 funding to match the Work Vessels for Vets grant to buy the best truck for the injured vet.
Scoggins is a past Warrior Games competitor and credits the athletic training with helping him cope with PTSD and TBI.
“USVCC is proud to partner with Work Vessels for Vets and our support network to provide direct assistance to Major Scoggins. Rob has done so much for our country, his service teammates, and his Warrior Games teammates,” said Brown. “We support our adaptive sports athletes, but more broadly we support Veterans in transition that are starting and running their own businesses – it is truly our honor to be part of this ‘next step’ for him in growing his business.”
ABOUT WORK VESSELS FOR VETS, INC: For over 12 years, Work Vessels for Vets, Inc has equipped more than 2,000 injured Veterans in all 50 states with tools valued at over $3 million to help veteran-entrepreneurs start a civilian business following military service. It is volunteer-run, maintaining an administrative overhead under one-percent, earning the highest Platinum rating at GuideStar and annual Top-Rated nonprofit at Great NonProfits. Learn more at WVFV.org.
ABOUT THE UNITED STATES VETERANS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (USVCC): The USVCC is a nationwide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with 27 current and pending regional chambers (and growing), over 100,000 veteran designated businesses, and a network of Fortune 5000 diversity and inclusion contacts. A critical function of the USVCC is assisting transitioning wounded, ill, and injured service members, their families, and caregivers through the military Warrior Care programs that provide recovery, military caregiver support, resiliency, and adaptive sports. USVCC proudly supports wounded adaptive sports athletes from all services during their participation in the Department of Defense Warrior Games and Invictus Games adaptive sporting competitions. Learn more at USVCC.org.
ADDENDUM – Book by Major J. Robert Scoggins – “Perspectives of Hope – A Rescue Pilot’s Silent Struggle to Find Life Beyond PTSD, TBI and War.”
“How does a trapped soul learn to accept, to surrender, to trust? I didn’t know either, until the day of my suicide… As a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, I had saved 151 lives but was unable to save my own…For Veterans with PTSD, identity, pride, guilt, successes, failures, and every extreme emotion have become tied together in the most unique way. There is not one-size-fits-all-cure. To live again, we each must take charge of our own recovery and demand growth in a new direction, because nobody else could ever know how we got to where we are,“ wrote Maj Scoggins about his perilous duty and more perilous battle with PTSD, attempts at suicide and other injuries in an acclaimed book entitled “Perspectives of Hope – A Rescue Pilot’s Silent Struggle to Find Life Beyond PTSD, TBI and War.”