WHS boys lax coaches, team supporting Wounded Warriors

If you attend a Wilton High boys lacrosse game in the month of May, you'll find the coaching staff sporting black polo shirts with the Wounded Warrior Project logo on them.

Head Coach John Wiseman and his staff have joined forces with the non-profit, non-partisan organization to raise awareness of the project's cause. The coaching staff, along with the players, will also wear black wrist bands.

Wiseman, who, along with several of his assistants, is a Wilton High graduate, believes that the coaching staff’s job should be more than just coaching players on the field.

“Sure, we all want to win championships, but as coaches and leaders of today's youths, we can't just always focus on sports,” said Wiseman.

The goals of the Wounded Warrior organization are to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured U.S. service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the service members’ needs.

“Our focus has always been to get the kids involved in the community around them and to give back,” said Wiseman. “Being actively engaged in the community creates positive energy and yields dividends for all involved.

“We have great young kids and it's important for the town to see that first hand and highlight the positive, while debunking the negative stereotypes of athletes and the younger generation we hear too often today,” added Wiseman. “We give our time and ‘sweat equity’ to the Wilton Library each year at their fund-raiser, walk/lead the Wilton Lacrosse Association youth section in the Memorial Day parade, and run as a team for the Wilton Education Foundation fund-raiser each year. This past fall we raised funds for Sticks for Soldiers and participated in a great event put together by Chris Parisi from [Fairfield] Ludlowe. Sticks for Soldiers has done tremendous things for displaced and wounded veterans.

The Wounded Warrior Project began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist service members as they recover and transition back to civilian life.

“We chose to work with lax.com and the Wounded Warrior Project to raise awareness on some even bigger issues and encourage our kids to get involved,” said Wiseman. “The Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization and we are very proud as a team to do what little we can. Throughout the month of May our whole coaching staff and players will be honoring our wounded veterans on game day with wrist bands and other attire. Thinking of others and ‘giving more than you take in life’ go hand in hand with what we are trying to teach them on the field.

“It reinforces all we teach and hopefully provides a greater perspective and appreciation for all that we have in Wilton, greater Fairfield County, and the United States as a whole,” added Wiseman. “Most important, our hope is that it inspires each of them to make a difference."