A non-profit group lends a hand to injured veterans at Lake Martin

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

LAKE MARTIN, AL (WSFA) - A non-profit group is lending a hand to injured veterans, giving them a chance to participate in activities they might not otherwise get to experience.

The program is called "Operation: Rise and Conquer," and veterans from across the country came to Lake Martin for a mission of a different kind, to reconnect, re-evaluate, and reclaim their lives.

The veterans that participates came home from war with life-altering injuries, but with Operation: Rise and Conquer, on this day, anything is possible.

For former Army Specialist Rory Dunn, who lost his right eye and most of his hearing during a 2004 attack in Fallujah, Iraq, it's a chance to shoot again.

He said, "I was right-eye dominant, and now I have to shoot left handed.  There are great people out here who are willing to help and assist."

Their disabilities range from those you can see, like amputations and burns, to those you can't see, like post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, which affects memory and function, but leaves no visible wound.

Sgt. Cynthia Galvin can't remember the last year of her life.  She's getting reaquainted with her 20 year old daughter.

She said, "It's hard to reconnect once you get injured, you kind of pull back from your family when you're trying to reconnect, you really don't know how to."

Those assisting these heroes are part of the Lakeshore Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping the disabled experience things most thought they'd never do again

Jeff Underwood, of the Lakeshore Foundation, said, "We recognized not only the opportunity we had to extend these programs to recently injured servicemen and women, but frankly the obligation to use our expertise and resources to helpt hose people that have done so much for our country."

Water skiing, paint ball, and kayaking was all part of reclaiming a quality of life they used to

There are more than 34, 000 injured veterans in the U.S. and the Lakeshore Foundation hopes to serve as many as possible in the coming years.