Wounded Warrior Speaks in Washington on Benefits of NOD Career Program
WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2010 — With support from the National Organization on Disability’s Wounded Warrior Career Demonstration program, Specialist (Ret.) Scott Vycital has begun a successful career at the Federal Highway Administration in Colorado. At the invitation of the First Lady, Scott and his wife Jarah traveled to Washington this week to attend the President’s State of the Union address.
Elected officials and members of the Executive Branch have opened their doors to the Vycitals to learn more about this innovative program that is filling a critical gap for veterans with disabilities, and their families. Scott and Jarah have spoken eloquently about the important role NOD’s Wounded Warrior Career program has played in turning their lives around. In Scott’s words, “The rewards of a career…it’s basically happiness.”
Scott spoke about his experiences on Denver’s CBS4. Click here to view that video.
While serving in a combat unit in Iraq in 2004, Spc. Vycital was injured when he was struck by a bullet that entered his face and traveled down his neck to his back. After medically retiring from the Army, Spc. Vycital struggled to get back on his feet, but finally returned to college through Veterans Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation. While in school, Spc. Vycital began communicating with an NOD Career Specialist who helped him work toward securing a job after graduation.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in December 2008, Spc. Vycital was hired in early 2009 by the Central Federal Lands’ Federal Highway Administration in early 2009 as an entry level accountant and was promoted to Program Financial Specialist in less than a year.
“We’re thrilled by the success Specialist Scott Vycital and his wife, Jarah, have achieved through NOD’s Wounded Warrior Careers program and are grateful to the President and First Lady for allowing us to share Scott’s story with the nation. They are just one of our many success stories,” said Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability. “With approximately two-thirds of working-age people with disabilities unemployed, we can’t stress enough the importance of supporting our wounded veterans as many transition into the civilian workforce. This support cannot have a time limit. These soldiers have given so much; we need to be there for them as long as it takes.”
The NOD Wounded Warrior Careers pilot program is currently based in three locations: Colorado, Texas and North Carolina, and is scheduled to continue for two more years. NOD is actively seeking a $28 million federal appropriation and private funding to expand this successful program to as many as 12 sites throughout the country.
In December 2009, NOD Career Specialists and veterans met with lawmakers to explain the value of the NOD Wounded Warrior Career demonstration project and how they and their families have personally benefitted. View photos from that visit.