“Wars may be winding down, but injuries last a lifetime,” said Brace Feldbusch, outreach coordinator for the Wounded Warrior Project, addressing local members of the Military Officers Association of America at an honorary banquet Tuesday evening.

The French Creek Valley Chapter of the MOAA gathered in the Iroquois Boating and Fishing Club at Conneaut Lake to present Feldbusch with a donation of $5,550 for the Project, collected through its Walk for Warriors 5K event two months ago.

“We’re happy to have somebody like Brace to accept the check,” said Jack Walter, local MOAA chapter president.

Feldbusch and his wife, Charlene, said a few words regarding the nonprofit WWP, which they co-founded along with their son, retired Sgt. Jeremy Feldbusch.

In 2003, Jeremy survived debilitating wounds in Iraq which resulted in a traumatic brain injury and total blindness, his parents said.

Through years of struggle and support, Jeremy overcame his limitations and lives a happy, normal life, an experience he and his family wish to share with all wounded service members.

“We help make a difference in the lives of troops coming home,” Brace said. “We strive to honor and empower them; help them move forward with their lives.”

The French Creek MOAA utilized its first attempt at a 5K fundraiser to help support the WWP in its mission, Walter said.

“They did an awesome job,” Brace said. “Without community support, we couldn’t do what we do.”

The French Creek Valley Chapter of the MOAA will begin planning within the next few months for another 5K walk, scheduled for May 17, 2014, at Colonel Crawford Park in Saegertown, according to Granville Goza, former chapter president.

Brace emphasized the community’s role in helping local service members reach out to the WWP for help with their physical or psychological injuries.

“We’re just trying to do the best we can to provide services to men and women in need and to help them live normal lives,” he said. “The important thing is the support and awareness we can give them.”

You can help

To help support the MOAA French Creek Valley Chapter or Wounded Warrior Project, contact French Creek Valley Chapter MOAA President Jack Walter at (814) 333-4602 or Brace Feldbusch, Wounded Warrior Project outreach coordinator at (724) 289-3312. For more information, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

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