n November 2013, Melissa Fitzgerald joined Justice For Vets as its new Senior Director. As an actor, Melissa is best known for her seven-year role as Carol on the NBC smash hit The West Wing, but off-screen she is widely recognized as a courageous advocate for people in need. Melissa is co-founder of Voices in Harmony, a non-profit mentoring organization that uses theater to work with underserved teens. In 2007, Melissa traveled to war-torn Northern Uganda to bring the Voices in Harmony program to former abducted child soldiers and other teenagers effected by the region’s brutal rebel war. The experience opened her eyes to the lingering impact of war. In 2011, Melissa co-executive produced Halfway Home, a documentary featuring Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Senator Max Cleland and Silver Star recipient and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, Sgt. Tommy Rieman joining other veterans in recounting their experience in war and their struggle to reintegrate and recover upon returning home. Learn more at justiceforveterans.org.
In 2014, Elizabeth Marks, a former U.S. Army sergeant, was traveling to the United Kingdom to compete in swimming events at the inaugural Invictus Games when she went into respiratory distress and nearly died. She was airlifted to a hospital in England, where medical staff saved her life. This year, Marks was able to compete in the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, and when Prince Harry, who founded the games, hung yet another gold medal around her neck, she promptly returned it to him, asking him to give it to the hospital staff members who saved her life two years ago.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.