BVL is proud to have stood up for America’s active duty troops and veterans for over 70 years. We are there to support them with programs to brighten their days, boost their spirits and provide opportunities to enrich a healthy mind and body. This Veterans Day, let’s join together to give just a little bit more so that we can do something special for the men and women recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Through your donations — whether it’s $5, $50 or $500 – we can continue our regular “We Salute You” events held at the bowling center on campus.
The bowling party series was created to provide returning service men and women receiving care an opportunity to step away from the often-stressful hospital setting and provide an outlet to have fun.
“These heroes can be hospitalized for weeks or months depending on the severity of their injuries and their course of treatment,” explains BVL Chair John LaSpina. “They are from every state in the Union – separated from family and friends. This is where BVL can really make an impact on behalf of our sport.”
The home states of the participants represent a cross-section of our nation — from California to New York; Arkansas to Ohio, and range in levels of bowling experience. They fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, stood watch on the USS Enterprise, did tours in Guantanamo Bay, Panama, Pakistan, and Japan.
Regardless of backgrounds, however, participants roundly agree that the parties are “a 300.” One member from Texas said this, “It was wonderful, even though my bowling wasn’t!! I’ll be back, though!” Another bowler from Connecticut, who admits she was hesitant of her abilities prior to the party, noted “I have not been bowling since I was very young, but I did better than I thought I would!” She concludes, “I enjoyed (the activity), though I was unsure before I came. It was a good distraction from everything else going on.”
A California hero who has served in no less than 11 locales noted this, “(Even though) I bowled in last place … I enjoyed bowling very much today. The event brought a smile and laughs which I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I’m glad I decided to participate.”
Perhaps the most moving response has been from a soldier who hails from Alabama. “Thanks for providing me an opportunity to get out and have some fun. The best part for me was that everything was taken care of: the lane rental, shoes, food, even a goody bag was given out! The lanes were decorated for our party and it made me feel good that someone thought enough of us to make sure that we had a good time.”
In addition to the afternoon of bowling, all participants are treated to lunch and receive gift bags which include T-shirts with the BVL logo and the “Bowling Supports America’s Troops” tagline, playing cards, and an assortment of candies and other treats. The gift pack also includes the USBC publication “The Bowler’s Guide: An instructional and educational guide to bowling.”
To donate in support of this program, simply click on Donate Now or send a check or money order payable to BVL at 11350 Random Hills Rd. Suite 800 Fairfax, VA 22030.