Recreational Therapy Opportunity: Build your American Flag with Stephen Ross

Recreational Therapy Opportunity: Build your American Flag with Stephen Ross

Mission: To facilitate recovery, maximize function, and promote successful community reintegration, return to duty, or transition to employment.

Key Elements of the STAR Program

  • The STAR Program, located at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System, is a residential program that offers an evaluation and treatment program specifically geared toward Special Operations Forces.
  • Structured and therapeutic environment for respite and rehabilitation; away from optempo environment.
  • Flexibility in treatment duration. Typical length of stay is 45-60 days; can be adjusted according to individual therapeutic goals.
  • An interdisciplinary medical and rehabilitation team that provides high-quality, individualized care.
  • Access to specialized medical treatment to facilitate recovery and maximize function.
  • A unique emphasis on transition from military to civilian life including individualized employment, education and recreation planning, resource development, and support.
  • Ability to meet interdisciplinary goals through completion of educational or professional certification courses.
  • An extensive network of civilian professionals in numerous fields to provide education and mentorship.

Growing up Drew and Sarah both were asked to help when Stephen had home projects and in particular woodworking efforts! Later in life Drew also developed a passion for woodworking and he and his father shared many conversations on how to best complete a project ! They even had a few special opportunities to build together! One particular proud moment they shared was when Drew and his team mate completed the Special Forces Team table for ODA 3126, or for a 3rd Special Forces Team 3126 . 

Drew also built his dad a flag that is currently displayed proudly in Stephen’s home.

The DRMF Flag Building began after Stephen was contacted by a member of the Poly-Trama Rehabilitation Program, also known as the STAR program located at the McGuire VA Center, located in Richmond VA. The STAR program is a residential program that offers an evaluation and treatment program specifically geared toward . supporting Service Members who have suffered injuries from Combat service.

This began a friendship and connection to other STAR members and staff. Andrea Cooper who was the Recreational therapist supporting the STAR program was the one that first asked Stephen about hosting STAR participants for woodworking as a way to get them away from the hospital and to help with their coping skills and recovery from PTSD. What better way to bond and heal for all involved than to combine a Gold Star father with STAR participants and to build American flags!

When asked about the impact of the DRMF Flag building Andrea shared the following:”I believe Drew lives on through you as you share fellowship with these guys and provide them friendship, guidance, and a unique connection that is bonded over shared experiences.”

  • West End of Richmond

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