April 29, 2017

Local Wounded Warrior Gives Back to Community

(West Sand Lake, NY) – After serving a total of 20 years in military service in both Marine Corps and US Army, local Wounded Warrior, SFC Don Tallman (R), decided that he would like to give back to the community by sharing his experience in service and connecting with other fellow warriors through STRIDE Adaptive Sports.

Tallman, who works at Union College Office of the Registrar, was an alumni ambassador for upstate New York Wounded Warrior Project and first heard about STRIDE when he attended an event in 2013 on Union College campus that was thought to be a part of the Wounded Warrior Project, but later found out that it was a STRIDE Wounded Warrior Program. At the event, Tallman got Mary Ellen Whitney’s, CEO and founder of STRIDE, contact information and reached out to her.

In 2008, while in Afghanistan, Tallman suffered nerve damage on the left side of his body, which made it difficult for him to engage in any physical activity without feeling intense pain. Like most, if not all warriors, Tallman went through a phase of depression and solitude where he would not leave home unless he was forced to. Once he got involved with STRIDE, Tallman was on the path to recovering himself physically, mentally, and emotionally. He tried skiing for the first time and realized that he was able to accomplish two things, 1.) spend time with his kids who both loved to ski and snowboard, and 2.) build his confidence to try to do activities without causing too much pain.

“Peer relationship with other comrades is probably the strongest rehabilitative prompt, I think…” says Don Tallman, “spending time with peers that have been through similar deployment or injury circumstances; those are probably the best. You share what you’ve been through and how you got through those things”.  Tallman has recently been appointed the position as STRIDE’s Wounded Warrior Program Liaison. He has a lot to offer and in store to share and engage with other local heroes and looks forward to continue building STRIDE’s Warrior program, in hopes to help ‘heal’ others through adaptive sport and camaraderie.

To Contact Don Tallman: dtallman@stride.org
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