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ESS Sponsors Wounded Vet in Paracycling Mtn. Bike Event

July 5, 2012  |  ESS UPDATES
ESS Sponsors Wounded Vet in Paracycling Mtn. Bike Event

ESS SPONSORS VETERAN ATHLETE TO RACE IN FIRST-EVER USA CYCLING-SANCTIONED PARACYCLING MOUNTAIN BIKE EVENT, TO RUN IN CONJUNCTION WITH U.S. NATIONALS

WOUNDED USMC VETERAN JASON SELLARS SETS SIGHTS ON MOUNTAIN BIKE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE

July 5, 2012 -- Sun Valley, ID USA

Today, ESS (Eye Safety Systems, Inc.) is pleased to announce its sponsorship of Corporal Jason Sellars USMC (Ret.) in the U.S. National Mountain Biking Cross-Country National Championships, Para-Cycling Division.  Mr. Sellars, a Marine of the war in Iraq, suffered a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress during an IED explosion and subsequently spent extended time at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland fighting through a long recovery process.

Sellars’ drive to extend beyond the limitations imposed by the serious nature of his injuries brought him to Sun Valley in the winter of 2011-2012 as a participant in Higher Ground, an intensive therapeutic recreation program serving veterans with traumatic brain injury/post-traumatic stress disorder.  Higher Ground is a nationally-recognized division of adaptive sports pioneer organization, Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, which is renowned for its work with athletes who have disabilities and special needs.  Higher Ground has received special recognition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Department of Excellence, and many other Military and Veterans Administration officials across the country.

Inspired by Higher Ground, Sellars soon found himself applying for a fellowship to return to Sun Valley to work as the Veteran Liaison for Higher Ground.  Through another veteran’s nonprofit “The Mission Continues”, Jason succeeded in attaining a fellowship with Higher Ground and paved his way for a return to Idaho. Today he works to spread the message of recovery to full and active lifestyles under the auspices of his role as Veteran Liaison.  At Higher Ground, his daily contact with former and prospective program participants establishes an important and empathetic link between the non-profit organization and the veteran military personnel who form its clientele.

“My hope through participating in the National Championships and through mountain bike racing in general is that I can spread a message of encouragement and of possibility to my veteran brothers and sisters.  To those who’ve suffered injury of any type, who may see their lives falsely defined by their limitations,” Sellars said.  “Even with serious disabilities to contend with, there is so much that veterans have to offer, and so much that we can achieve.  Through my work with Higher Ground and with the assistance of companies like ESS, I hope that I can inspire veterans to further challenge themselves, and to see their lives and contributions as positive and significant forces for change.”

ESS has worked with Higher Ground over the years, helping to constructively influence the lives of those who have sacrificed in the service of their country. Many Higher Ground participants have worn ESS products throughout their military careers and deployments, so the connection between the company and the individuals can run deep.  Through their involvement in a variety of Higher Ground’s group camps, ESS has found a meaningful and far-reaching way to give back to the military community.“

Higher Ground is a unique organization with an extremely important function,” said Ari Drougas, Communications Manager at ESS.  “It is critically-important that we as a society provide our wounded veterans with the tools and confidence to overcome or adapt to their injuries, so that we can in turn learn from their well-established leadership abilities.  We’re thrilled to work again with Higher Ground as Jason seeks new challenges with both his charitable works and his athletic aspirations.”

Come and support CPL Sellars and other veterans participating in the first ever veteran’s division of the National Mountain Biking Cross-Country National Championships at 4:40 p.m. July 5th at the River Run side of Bald Mountain.

 

Media Contact:
Ari Drougas 
ESS Communications Manager
ari@esseyepro.com


About ESS: Established in 1998, ESS (Eye Safety Systems) creates advanced eye protection systems for military, law enforcement, and fire/rescue professionals. Designed for the planet’s most hostile and unforgiving environments, ESS products feature cutting-edge technologies and patented innovations to ensure peak performance and uncompromised eye safety.  Headquartered in Sun Valley, Idaho, ESS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oakley, Inc. ESS eye pro is manufactured in Foothill Ranch, California, and is sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.esseyepro.com.

About Higher Ground: Higher Ground provides weeklong therapeutic Sports camps for service members with TBI, PTSD, Polytrauma, and their supporters.  Included with these services is athree year follow up (the longest in the industry), resources at home and nationally for any unmet needs, and a reintegration budget to help purchase the goods and services needed to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.  Visit us on the web at www.hgvets.org.


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WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

"Dear ESS, On deployment in 2012, my vehicle was struck with an IED while performing route clearance in Afghanistan. The IED flipped my vehicle, knocking me unconscious and launching my rifle into my face. My cheek, nose, and eye socket were shattered from the impact, but my eye was saved from the ESS Crossbow I was wearing. When I put a pair of Crossbows back on, you can clearly see where I would have lost my eye if I wasn't wearing them." SSG Pronzati