When wounded or disabled veterans return home, the lack of a support group outside of their family can really derail the healing process as well as the coping process. Living with a disability can be a struggle if you don’t know how to deal with it with an open mind. Although, to really get a grasp of how to cope with a newly developed disability, a support system of people who are in the same situation that many veterans find themselves in can tend to be the most helpful in the healing process. Luckily, the Lakeshore Foundation based in Birmingham, AL is building a support system for those who are not sure where to turn.
Lima Foxtrot is a set of programs that include a number of weekend-long camps that bring injured military personnel and their families from across the country to Alabama. Each camp, referred to as an operation, is offered at no charge for the participants. Activities include Operation Rise & Conquer, an outdoor adventure weekend held at Lake Martin; Operation Down Home, a weekend camp for injured servicemen and women as well as their families; Operation Night Vision, a camp specifically designed for injured troops who have suffered blindness or visual impairment; Operation Alpha for servicemen and women who have sustained traumatic brain injuries; Operation Refocus brings together past participants to look at how participation in LIMA FOXTROT shaped their lives once they returned home from Lakeshore and Operation Endurance, which provides daily fitness programs to recently injured military personnel returning home to Alabama.
Initiated in 2006 in response to the significant numbers of injuries from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lima Foxtrot has served over 1,800 injured servicemen and women and their families, from 46 states and territories. Through Lima Foxtrot these young men and women use lessons from sport and recreation to learn how to pursue life after injury.
In one sense, “Lima Foxtrot” simply represents the organization providing the programs, “L”akeshore “F”oundation. However, Lima Foxtrot also represents Living Fit, which describes the outcomes associated with participation in these programs. Further, Lima Foxtrot reminds us all of what the courage of these men and women means to our daily lives, Liberty and Freedom.
With the number programs offered by Lima Foxtrot, disabled veterans can discover life after their disability. By building a network of other veterans in similar situations, these participants can build a support system to help them work through their own situations to better themselves and continue on with their lives. The families of these veterans also thrive from these programs because of the morale boost that they receive after participation with people in the same boat. Lima Foxtrot exists for one purpose and that is to help people make the most of their situation and continue living the life they’re given.