SMI Cold Therapy Partners with Wounded Warrior Project to Send Injured Vets Fishing on Florida's Lake Okeechobee with Bass Master Pro Angler Mark Shepard

Oct 07, 2010, 05:00 ET from SMI Cold Therapy

BUTLER, Pa., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- SMI Cold Therapy, a manufacturer of cold therapy products and services for hospitals and outpatient surgery centers, has joined forces once again with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) to send injured U.S. veterans bass fishing on Lake Okeechobee in Florida.

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

Four Wounded Warrior Project vets have already been on two SMI-sponsored fishing trips: May 23-26; June 6-9. The upcoming trip scheduled for October 12-13 will include Iraq war veterans, Specialist Edward Carliell, 26, of North Adams, MA, and Brian Whitaker, 33, of New Castle, DE.

Carliell, who joined the U.S. Army in 2003, was injured in April 2007. While patrolling in a truck, a rocket exploded nearby causing him traumatic brain injury. "If we were driving two miles per hour faster, I would not be here," he said. Carliell volunteers at the North Adams Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America food pantry.  

Whitaker, who is medically discharged from the Army, joined the military in 2006. He saw two deployments, one in Korea and one in Iraq, and came home with PTSD and various physical maladies related to his service. Whitaker has been involved in the Wounded Warrior Project since February 2009. He credits it with helping him navigate the benefit programs available for veterans and for helping him adjust to civilian life through its Warriors to Work program and its Camp Odyssey, which he is scheduled to attend in 2011.

"We are honored to be involved with Wounded Warrior Project and the important work they do to help our veterans," said Keith Marshall, SMI's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We want to try and give something back to these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country. I hope it inspires other companies to do something to give back as well."

The trip is sponsored by SMI Cold Therapy and by, Florida's largest freshwater guide service and outfitter for bass fishing on Florida lakes, canals and rivers.

The FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management (DFFM) will provide each of the WWP veterans with a free, three-day fishing license and a promotional package that includes tackle samples, fishing publications and discount coupons. Additionally, the veterans will receive a free "Get Outdoors Florida!" t-shirt. "Get Outdoors Florida!" is an ongoing campaign highlighting the health and social benefits of fishing and outdoor, nature-based recreation. DFFM staff wishes to thank our service men and women for their contributions to our freedom.

SMI Cold Therapy is a women-owned, veteran-operated manufacturer of the highest quality cold therapy products for the orthopedic community. Our post-operative products are designed for inpatient and outpatient procedures including total joint replacements and sports medicine. Our simple-to-use, long-lasting, 3.5-hour Gel Bag Compression Bandage Wrap System requires fewer nurse interventions and is changing the orthopedic standard of care. SMI's facility-specific protocols create efficiencies that enhance patient care while achieving improved clinical outcomes and cost reductions. Headquartered in Butler, PA, SMI is proud to be made in America. For more information, visit or call 724.431.6147.

SOURCE SMI Cold Therapy