Bowling News USA - June 12, 2013 Heroes Bowl with the Pros Spells Victory by Louie Wemett
(Pictured: 2012 Soldier and Family Assistance Center Project - Fort Meade, Annapolis Junction, MD)
The official name of Storm's second Wounded Warrior event was 'The 2013 Morale, Welfare and Recreation Project.' Heroes Bowl with the Pros was the user friendly title which describes a wonderful, heartfelt Storm experience.
And so it was in May, that the Storm Team descended on the Bethesda Naval Bowling Center - Building 56, on a mission of bowling, appreciation and goodwill.
Heroes Bowl with the Pros was the second event of it's kind for The Bowler's Company. It is a way of giving back to the men and women who served our country.
The Wounded Warriors were from all branches of the military and this year's Heroes had more significant injuries than those who attended the Storm Soldier and Family Assistance Project held last year at Fort Meade.
Many of the 60 or so service men and women were amputee's, suffered from Post Traumatic Brain Injuries from IED's, or had other debilitating injuries while serving and protecting Americans.
This year's Storm ensemble included Liz Johnson, Jeff Carter, Peter Somoff, Mike Sinek, Mike Luongo, Mickey Luongo, Dale Niemela, Jeff Baker, Latise Baker, Chris Johnson, Rick Graham and Louie Wemett. Ron Adkins from Dexter also attended.
"We are on par from our turnout last year," said Storm's Mike Sinek, who was instrumental in founding the Storm Wounded Warrior Projects. "Bethesda is the home of military medicine and it is important that we can focus on the Warriors and their rehabilitation first hand. The projects offer the soldiers something other than their usual rehab or gym visits."
Quite simply, the bowling is fun. It offers the Warriors a chance to get away from their routine and free their minds of all they have to deal with.
There was plenty of healthy bowling instruction exhibited by the Pros. The Warriors were appreciative.
"After last year's project, Storm's response was "where can we do another Wounded Warrior event," said Sinek. 'Bethesda is a higher profile venue. The Wounded Warrior staff embraced the project last year after viewing the video and hearing from the attendees. The net result was higher participation rehab rates, up to fifty percent. The carry over effect was better social improvement and faster transition out of programs and into everyday life."
All of the Warriors received bowling equipment from Storm Products, Master Industries, Vice, Dexter Shoes, Bowlingball.com, Kegel, Bowler's Supply and Threadworks. Additional items were donated by USBC, Delong Unlimited, and Bowlers Journal.
One Wounded Warrior and guest will be receiving an all-expense paid trip to the International Bowling Campus and Training Center, courtesy of the USBC.
"What is special about these events is getting a chance to see the soldiers enjoy themselves in this environment," said Storm's Mike Luongo. "The Warriors love bowling and many had bowled in leagues before they were injured. It is a lot of fun."
"I do clinics all over the world, and these events are the most rewarding I ever do," said Storm's Dale Niemala. "The gentleman who I was coaching in the wheelchair now has a 'bowling strategy.' It isn't just bowling and rolling the ball. He thinks he can beat his wife now which is the big thing."
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