Washington, DC, October 28, 2013
Easter Seals elected Mike Boettcher as its newest member of the organization’s International Board of Directors during the annual meeting over the weekend.
“I think of Easter Seals as America’s charity,” said Boettcher. “To work alongside this organization to share stories of what it’s like to return from war and to help veterans and their families integrate back into their communities is an amazing opportunity.”
Boettcher first became actively involved with Easter Seals because of its partnership around his film, The Hornet’s Nest. Boettcher, and his son, Carlos, provide a perspective directly from the front lines in Afghanistan. Their journey began in 2008 and unfolds a true story of survival for the soldiers, and of a father and son who seek to rekindle their relationship under the most harrowing of circumstances. The documentary captures the importance of supporting our service members while on the battlefield and upon their return home.
Because of his experience in Afghanistan, Boettcher is eager to share how Easter Seals and its partner, Dixon Center, are supporting communities in their efforts to help veterans during reintegration. The Hornet’s Nest film also offers a timely platform to raise awareness about the challenges many veterans and their families face during reintegration, and through Q&A with the filmmakers and partners Easter Seals and Dixon Center, urges audiences to find solutions and do more to support them.
Easter Seals and Dixon Center have already hosted screenings of The Hornet’s Nest in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to introduce the documentary to communities of people who can take the next step—welcoming our brave veterans home to communities that embrace them and work together to meet their needs for health care, education and opportunities for meaningful employment. With Boettcher’s board election and upcoming nationwide tour for his film, there is much to celebrate around military and veterans heading into November and with Veterans Day on November 11th.
Mike Boettcher has been recognized with journalism’s top awards for his coverage of events that shaped the world since 1980. He also helped launch the era of 24-hour live news coverage when on June 1, 1980, he performed the first live satellite report for a fledgling network called CNN. In a three-decade network career Boettcher received national recognition in all facets of broadcast journalism – breaking news, feature, war coverage and investigative reporting. He was also recognized for his investigations of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups. As the chief correspondent for CNN’s terrorism investigation unit, a team he created in the summer of 2001, Boettcher was awarded a Peabody, his third of four National Emmys and a National Headliner award.
“We are delighted to have Mike as an International Board Member for Easter Seals,” said James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “He shares Easter Seals’ mission to address serious gaps in military and veteran services by mobilizing our national network of community-based services. He is a fantastic story-teller and a valuable addition to the Easter Seals organization.”
In 2005, Easter Seals recognized the new and unmet needs of tens of thousands of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and established the Military and Veterans Initiative to more effectively and efficiently meet their needs during transition, reintegration and long-term success in life. Easter Seals also addresses the needs of returning veterans and their families through our partnership with Dixon Center, an organization that leverages a well-established national network of community-based service providers and an array of trusted local leaders to better help military service members and veterans, their families and the families of the fallen.
About Easter Seals
For nearly 100 years, Easter Seals has provided life-changing solutions to the people of our country. From children and adults living with disabilities, to military families looking to serve their communities, Easter Seals is committed to creating a world of inclusion, dignity, empowerment and independence. We personalize solutions for individuals with autism, and intellectual and physical disabilities through innovative therapy, training, education and support services.
Recognizing the new and unmet needs of so many returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are also addressing serious gaps in service by mobilizing our national network of community-based services through a partnership with Dixon Center (www.theDixonCenter.org). At Easter Seals, we are equipped to serve thousands of individuals and military families across our 70+ affiliates, 550 nationwide service sites, 27,000 professional staff and 40,000 local volunteers. Find out more at www.easterseals.com.