Soldiers Project Founder Honored at White House
SecondAct profiled Broder last year and detailed her organization's efforts to provide free counseling to returning veterans and their families. To date, 700 volunteer therapists have provided more than 10,000 hours of confidential psychological services to more than 300 military families. The organization has expanded far beyond Broder's Studio City, Calif., home, now helping soldiers in Chicago, Boston and New York.
The Presidential Citizens Medal is the nation's second-highest civilian honor.
"This year's recipients of the Citizens Medal come from different backgrounds, but they share a commitment to a cause greater than themselves," says President Obama. "They exemplify the best of what it means to be an American, and I am honored to be able to offer them a small token of our appreciation."
In 2004 Broder decided to postpone retirement to create The Soldiers Project after attending a performance of The Sand Storm: Stories from the Front, a series of monologues recounting marine Sean Huze's own combat missions during the invasion of Iraq. As the actors -- most of them soldiers -- spoke of friends dying, of rifle fire and fear, of rage and the lust for revenge, Broder was hatching her plan to help.
In 2009, Broder won a $100,000 Purpose Prize, an award given to people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good.
On Thursday, Broder will be honored in Washington, D.C., for "exemplary service" to the nation, The other 2011 Citizens Medal recipients are:
- Steve and Liz Alderman of Armonk, N.Y., also 2009 Purpose Prize winners
- Clarence Lee Alexander of Fort Yukon, Alaska
- Camilla Bloomquist of Penn Yan, N.Y.
- Vijaya Emani of Strongsville, Ohio
- John Keaveney of Los Angeles
- Roger Kemp of Leawood, Kan.
- Janice Langbehn of Lacey, Wash.
- Ida Martin of Bluffton, S.C.
- Margaret Martin of Los Angeles
- Michelle McIntyre-Brewer of Jefferson, Md.
- Roberto Perez of Miami
Read more about their accomplishments here.
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