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Step Up 4 Vets Provides Wounded Warriors with Unique Holiday Experience
11/25/2010 - By Career Transition For Dancers - 165 West 46th Street, New York City

Step Up 4 Vets Provides Wounded Warriors with Unique Holiday Experience
Photos by ANN WATT @ Society-Photos.com

Sergeant Major James Mark Seydler, Gracyn Hope

Several dozen Iraq & Afghanistan wounded warriors & their families had the opportunity to view one of New York’s legendary traditions, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,

From a prime perch overlooking Times Square, a special champagne brunch was hosted by Los Angeles philanthropist, arts patron and injured vets activist Patricia Kennedy, founder of Step Up 4 Vets. The veterans and their spouses and children had an eye popping view as the balloons passed by the windows. For many it was there first time seeing the parade.

For the last three years, Ms. Kennedy a long time patron of dance has successfully bought at auction at the Career Transitions For Dancers Annual Jubilee, the brunch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from their offices overlooking Times Square.

As she has done with Career Transitions For Dancers Jubilee Gala, her guests were not captains of industry, celebrities or socialites but America’s most devastatingly wounded warriors. Ms. Kennedy says, “They never got a parade when they came home so Step Up 4 Vets and Macy’s is saying ‘’Thank you” for your service on Thanksgiving Day”.

Alexander Dube, Executive Director Of Career Transition for Dancers and his staff turned their conference into a balloon & toy filled romper room for the children who wrote messages to Santa on balloons which they later tossed out the window when Santa passed by.

It was hard to tell who was having the most fun – the children or Ms. Kennedy and the rest of the adults.

Many of the vets are part of The Warrior Transition Unit at West Point's Keller Army Medical Center and from IAVA, (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America). Ms. Kennedy launched Step Up 4 Vets in 2008 to partner in the transition of our injured veterans as they readjust, rebuild and redirect their lives.

Photos: Ann Watt

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