At Swett Warriors, we are proud of what people around the country are doing to help us in our mission. In celebration of these efforts, this page will continually offer accolades to everyone making a difference.
Visit this page often to see regular updates on what people are doing.
Justin Constantine – US Marine, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker
In 2006, Justin volunteered to deploy to Iraq and was eager to lead other Marines as they worked to rebuild that part of the world. While on routine combat patrol, an enemy sniper shot Justin in the head, causing irreparable damage destroying his jaw and much of his face. Through his treatment, heroic efforts, and warrior spirit, Justin is still alive today.
Over the last few years, Justin has been able to share his motivating lessons of recovery with a variety of audiences. In addition to speaking at corporate events, military celebrations, and government conferences, Justin was featured in an inspirational documentary about the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made since 9/11.
Swett & Crawford was honored to have Justin attend Swett Warrior Weekend. His unbelievable story and inspiring attitude has helped so many and he is continuously making a difference.
Captain James Van Thach Speaks for Canine Companions for Independence
Swett & Crawford was honored to have Captain James Van Thach, US Army Veteran, attend Swett Warrior Weekend and is privileged to call him a friend. James is continuously getting involved with different communities and helping other veterans in any way he can.
Captain James Van Thach is a highly decorated US Army veteran who was wounded twice in the line of duty in Iraq. As a result of those injuries, James retired from the Army in 2009, and in May of 2012 was invited to participate in Team Training at Canine Companies for Independence in Medford, New York. Since receiving his service dog and now constant companion, Liz, James has gained more self-confidence and was able to persevere through his injuries. In 2013, James was strong enough to take a tour of Afghanistan on Operation Proper Exit to speak to over 1,500 troops about his wounds and how having a service dog changed his life.
James recently had the chance to be a guest speaker at a Lions Club event in Tuckahoe, New York to raise funds for Canine Companions for Independence. This amazing organization is constantly helping children, adults, and veterans with disabilities by providing a highly trained assistance dog free of charge. James was able to give a first-hand account of how life changing one of these companions can be.
Steve Baskis Skydives with the All Veteran Parachute Team
Swett Warrior Weekend attendee and friend Steve Baskis, US Army, has one of the most inspirational stories or survival and determination. In 2008, at just 22 years old, Steve was permanently blinded when his convoy was hit with a bomb on the northern edge of Baghdad.
After months of rehabilitation and learning how to adapt, Steve was discharged from the hospital. Since then, Steve has accomplished more than anyone could have imagined. He has traveled the world, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, competed in an Ironman competition, and skied at West Yellowstone. Another one of Steve’s hobbies is skydiving, and his recent jump was with Mike Elliott and the All Veteran Parachute Team.
“No matter what happens, if you think positive, never dwell on the negative, never give up on yourself, and drive as hard and as fast as you can forward, nothing will keep you from building and living a great life.” –Steve Baskis, Courage in America, by: Michael Kerrigan
Bobby Henline Spreads Cheer Through Comedy
Desert Storm and Iraq War veteran, Bobby Henline, is a true American Hero who is spreading hope through stand-up comedy and motivational speaking. Swett & Crawford was honored to have this amazing veteran, hero, and comedian attend Swett Warrior Weekend in Las Vegas.
On April 7, 2007, while in Iraq, Bobby’s Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb just north of Bagdad leaving him the sole survivor. Immediately following, Bobby spent six months in the hospital with 38 percent of his body burned and his head burned to the skull. Within two years, Bobby’s left hand was amputated.
While working with an occupational therapists in August 2009, Bobby made a promise to try stand-up comedy during his short stay in Los Angeles. Shortly after the “Well-Done Comedian” was born. Bobby believes he is alive to help inspire and give hope to burn survivors, and to heal others through his incredible story and laughter.
Bobby brought joy and laughter to everyone he touched during Swett Warrior Weekend. His self-deprecating comedic style left us in stitches and will burn in our hearts forever.
SSgt Herman Lubbe’s Incredible Progress at San Antonio Medical Center
Congratulations to SSgt Herman Lubbe, USMC, for his incredible progress during his treatment at the San Antonio Medical Center. The care and rehabilitation he has been receiving from this hospital’s Center for the Intrepid has allowed Herman to run for the first time in nearly two years. This state of the art facility is designed to treat burn victims and amputees, specifically those who served in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.
Lubbe was injured in Afghanistan in June 2011 when a fellow Marine stepped on an IED while patrolling along the Sangin Valley. Prior to his arrival in San Antonio, Lubbe was receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. During his first 6 months in Maryland, he went through countless surgeries and physical therapy, helping him relearn to walk and use his right leg.
Lubbe’s dedication and progress is inspiring to all. Keep up the good work!
Retired US Army Captain Visits Afghanistan with Operation Proper Exit
US Army Veteran and Swett Warrior Weekend attendee, Captain James Van Thach, recently spent some time in Afghanistan on Operation Proper Exit. For many troops who are injured in battle, they are left with many unanswered questions including: what they accomplished, what their unit had accomplished, and what happened to other soldiers. Operation Proper Exit gives these wounded troops a chance to make a “proper exit” on their own terms as they walk to the aircraft and climb the ramp rather than being medically evacuated. They are also able to feel that sense of brotherhood again as they visit with the deployed troops. Most importantly, they have the chance to see the progress in Iraq that they helped bring about.
Swett & Crawford is grateful for all of our troops and veterans and is extremely proud of James for his brave return to the war zone. Thank you for everything you have done for this country.
Swett & Crawford Atlanta Employee Welcomes Home Grandson From Afghanistan.
Submitted by: Priscilla Brott - Property Broker, Swett & Crawford – Atlanta
Dylan is a Lance Corporal in the Marines and has been in Afghanistan since January. At the Swett production meeting, a Colonel from Creech promised to bring him home safely and “he did”. Dylan is a machine gunner and participated in some intense situations.
Priscilla commented, “I have a number of close friends and family who are members of our Armed Services. I am proud of them and what they do for all of us. Each of them have made an extraordinary sacrifices for our country and I want to say thank you. Welcome home Dylan.”
Swett & Crawford Suwanee “Adopts” Coworkers Daughter Who Is Enlisted.
Submitted by: Kathy Luce - Premium Finance Manager, Swett & Crawford – Suwanee
Joyce Gadson works in the Swett Premium Accounting Department. In 2008, Joyce’s daughter Chelsey worked during the summer prior to her senior year of high school in the Suwanee Premium Accounting Department. After high school, Chelsey joined the Army National Guard. In January 2011, Chelsey was deployed to Kuwait for a year. During her year of deployment the Premium Accounting Department sent care packages of goodies, toiletries and pictures of her Suwanee adopted family. We are always looking for ways to support our troops and were glad to support one of our own.
Chelsey is still active duty and is currently working out of the Chattanooga, TN Armory.
Why I participate in the Tough Mudder.
Submitted by: Roy Norman - Property Broker, Swett & Crawford – Atlanta
The Tough Mudder is considered one of the most grueling challenges in the country. This 12 mile, military style, obstacle course is designed to challenge you mentally as well as physically. Proceeds from the challenge go to The Wounded Warrior Project. A friend of mine, Phil Scarborough, joined the Marines and served in Afghanistan. It was there that he lost his life for his country. I have participated in two Tough Mudder challenges so far with plans to do more. The Tough Mudder is not considered a race because it is not a timed event. The objective of the challenge is to finish. You run the challenge with teammates and you learn the meaning of teamwork and camaraderie.
Obstacles are designed to test your fears and to show you the value of teamwork. Some obstacles require that you help each other out in order to move on. Fear of heights? Climb a pyramid of hay bales without anything to hold on to or jump from a 25 foot platform into water. Claustrophobia? Crawl through underground tunnels or tunnels filled with water. How about 10,000 volts of electricity? Yes, these are just a few of the obstacles designed to test you throughout the Tough Mudder. Each time an obstacle is presented, I think of the biggest obstacle of all. Giving your life for what you believe in. My friend, Phil, did that. So what is the big deal of a little pain over the course of four hours to honor a friend?
With the proceeds from the race going to The Wounded Warrior Project, at least I can help in some small way and say Thank You to the men and women who have overcome obstacles much more challenging than mine. When you see military veterans participating in the Tough Mudder, you then get a true sense of what a hero is. They have already given, yet they give more. There are other races out there and I participate in different ones. If you really want to challenge yourself, give a “mud run” a try. Not only do you have fun, but you can also help make it a little easier for veterans to tackle some of life’s toughest obstacles!!