Bestselling Author and Peabody Award-Winning ABC News Correspondent Sebastian Junger to Give Keynote Address at National Ability Center’s “Saluting Our Heroes” Event

November 10 2016

PARK CITY, UT (November 2016) – The National Ability Center is honoring United States active duty and veteran service members with its annual “Saluting Our Heroes” luncheon event on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Joined by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Sebastian Junger as the keynote speaker, the event pays tribute to the brave men and women who have sacrificed and served the United States heroically in the face of conflicts around the globe. The event highlights the important work organizations and companies, such as the National Ability Center, are doing to provide cutting-edge care and rehabilitation to active duty, veterans and their families, who have sustained disabilities due to the cost of war.  

“Warriors and their families deserve high-quality, non-institutional environments where they can truly connect and heal,” said Gail Loveland, National Ability Center's executive director. “Since 1985, the National Ability Center has served thousands of veterans, active duty soldiers and their families through programs that support and challenge them to learn new skills, set higher goals, improve communication, encourage relatedness and extend their reach beyond perceived limits. All funds raised from the 'Saluting Our Heroes' luncheon directly support these instrumental programs for military service members and their families.”  

Held from noon to 1:30 pm, the annual “Saluting Our Heroes” event is free to the public, but registration is required by visiting www.discovernac.org/saluting-our-heroes. Donations from attendees and company sponsorships of the event are encouraged and can be made by contacting Julia Rametta at juliar@discovernac.org or 435.200.0990. 

The National Ability Center is honored to have Sebastian Junger as the keynote speaker for this year's event. Junger is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, Fire, A Death in Belmont, Ward, and most recently, Tribe. As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world, and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker, whose debut film Restrepo, a feature-length documentary (co-directed with Tim Hetherington), was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Restrepo, which chronicled the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, is widely considered to have broken new ground in war reporting. Junger has since directed and produced three additional documentaries about war and its aftermath. His most recent book, Tribe, is about why tribal sentiment is such a rare and precious thing in modern society, and how the lack of it has affected us all. It’s about why—for many people—war feels better than peace and hardship can turn out to be a great blessing and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Tribe will be available for signing and purchase after the event.

Presenting sponsors include Zions Bank and George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation.

Additional sponsors include Boeing Company, Goldman Sachs, ABC4, Big-D Construction, Deer Valley Resort, L3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Salt Lake Magazine, Semnani Family Foundation, Dominion Questar Corporation and Walmart.

“’Saluting Our Heroes’ is designed to not only help support our military programs, but to also focus more attention on the service-people who return from tours of duty and suddenly face serious physical and emotional problems,” said Loveland. “Our programs currently serve 4,100 individuals of all abilities each year through 28,000 lessons and experiences within a wide variety of sports, recreation and educational activities. Participants come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, from all 50 states and 15 countries around the globe.” 

To learn more about the “Saluting Our Heroes” luncheon or the National Ability Center, please contact Christa Graff with Graff Public Relations, LLC, at 435.640.7921 or christa@graffpr.com. Additional information about the event is available at www.discovernac.org/saluting-our-heroes

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About the National Ability Center

The National Ability Center empowers individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs. Located in Park City, Utah, it is one of the leading community programs in the country that provides sports and recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The National Ability Center is recognized as a chapter of Disabled Sports USA and a US Paralympic Sports Club. World-class facilities and program excellence have also elevated the National Ability Center to be a premier provider and partner in the delivery of programs directly supported by the Wounded Warrior Project and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. The National Ability Center provides more than 28,000 experiences each year. For more information, visit www.discovernac.org.

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