April 2, 2012

WBRC Alumnus Featured in Idaho Press - Tribune News Article

Photograph: James Nealey, WBRC Alumnus, sits behind a desk
 in a classroom at the College of Western Idaho. 
Photograph taken by Adam Eschbach/IPT for the Idaho Press - Tribune

James Nealey, WBRC Alumnus, was recently profiled by the Idaho Press - Tribune as part of a story detailing the transition of veterans with disabilities into school at the College of Western Idaho.  The story details a new program at the school called the Wyakin Warriors program. 

An excerpt of the article follows below:

'James Nealey, a 28-year-old Army veteran from Nampa who began losing his sight after returning from Iraq, was one of the first five veterans inducted into the Wyakin Warriors program August 2011...

The Wyakin Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization started by Boiseans Jeff and Rebecca Bacon, provides wounded veterans with a full four-year scholarship — including room, board and tuition — along with job training, mentoring, and life-time membership in the organization. The first group of five veterans was inducted into the program last August. Five more will be inducted in June...

Roy Ledesma, program director for the Wyakin Warriors Foundation, explained that veterans face more challenges that traditional college students...

Tom Byrns, a former Army Major who served as a tank company commander in Iraq, directs the scholarships and education program for the Wyakin Warriors Foundation. Byrns has personally suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression from his battle experiences — and he understands the needs of the student veterans.

“We all have our personal demons. It’s important to identify those things that trigger potential issues,” he said.

Byrns noted that while veterans face challenges, they also have a lot to offer. They tend to be  disciplined and hardworking, and unlike traditional students, they have experience outside of the academic environment.

“They bring diversity, they bring life experience, and they bring a perspective on what’s important and what’s not important,” he said.'

CLICK HERE to read the complete Idaho Press - Tribune Article

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Wyakin Warrior Foundation

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