INJURED AIR FORCE RESCUE PILOT AWARDED TRUCK FROM WORK VESSELS FOR VETS, INC & US VETERANS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
MYSTIC, CT - USAF Major (ret) 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 Air Force career as a rescue pilot ended with severe injuries after twelve years and multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa. But he really needed a truck to work the farm and transport their produce to markets in the Colorado Springs/Denver area.
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 (USVCC) stepped up to find a truck for this veteran. Rob Scoggins received his commission as an officer in the US Air Force at his graduation from the US Air Force Academy in 2003. He served in Balad AB Iraq; Khandahar Airfield and Camp Bastion, Afghanistan; and Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, Horn of Africa and rose to the rank of Major. He was a combat rescue pilot, leading a 6-man HH-60G combat helicopter. He engaged in 252 combat missions, rescuing and recovering 291 individuals and is credited with saving 151 lives. Over 200 of those missions and almost all of the 291 Americans, allies, and civilians were in Afghanistan, 2010. He was medically retired with 100% 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. Scroggins 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 USA Colonel who now heads up the 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. Maj. 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 Scroggins. Rob has done so much for our country, his service teammates, and his Warrior Games teammates,” said Kevin Brown, President of the USVCC. “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 2000 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 www.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 www.usvcc.org.