November 24, 2015
Josh and Danielle have three beautiful, smart, and amazing children- Joshua, 12; Corrine, 10; and Madeline, 8. In April of 2014, the family started receiving grants through Our Military Kids’ Severely Injured Program to attend Capital MMA and Elite Fitness. Josh is an amputee who has also been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Because of his diagnoses, Josh faces obstacles every day, and his memory is not what it used to be. The change in his medical status has been a learning experience for him and his entire family. In response to the question of how his wounds affect his family, Josh shared, “I found myself in a type of denial, when it comes to this. To say that it doesn’t really affect them would be a lie.” His response is all too familiar for many other Wounded Warriors as well. Since 9/11 hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women have come home injured. Whether the wounds are visible or “invisible,” the lives of the servicemen and women are forever changed alongside the families who love them. Spouses often take over the role of caregiver, and the children often become caregivers as well. Extracurricular activities can help ease the transition to a new normal for the whole family. For Josh, having his children involved in extracurricular activities not only helped them find a place to fit in but also helped Josh, “I can personally say that getting back into these activities has helped me get off my pain meds,” Josh said when talking about his family Our Military Kids has given the family a place to bond while learning valuable skills. The girls, Madeline and Corinne, had been going to the gym for a while. At first they were not motivated to participate, but when they discovered No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu (submission wrestling) they found their passion. Corinne won seventeen straight fights playing King of the Mat. The entire gym stopped to watch her compete with passion. Since this instance, Corinne has been competing in tournaments, and her wins include one against a boy who was a belt higher and twenty pounds heavier. What a feat! The children stay busy trying different activities throughout the seasons. This fall Madeline is going to try wrestling as well. Joshua will be the starting catcher for spring and fall baseball, while Corinne and Madeline will play soccer and cheer. Capital is where the whole family feels safe. “I am not in a traditional line unit and that is one thing that we really miss, the bond between other members in the unit, as well as the families,” said Josh. Now the family has found that bond with other families at Capital thanks to Our Military Kids’ Severely Injured Program.