The Los Angeles Sparks showed their appreciation for military and first responders last night versus the Washington Mystics with a Veterans & First Responders and Mental Health Awareness Theme Night. The Sparks organization honored military, veterans and first responders on World Suicide Prevention Day and one day before the 19th anniversary of 9/11.
Before the game, the Sparks held a two-hour virtual panel moderated by Renee Bobb of Bunker Labs featuring nine accomplished speakers. The first hour was dedicated to women veterans and featured three panelists: Lauren Trosclair Duncan of World Relief Southern California, Brenda Threatt of El Camino College and Melanie Alvarez of Veteran Employment at Goodwill.
The second hour of the panel focused on transitions and entrepreneurship advice for all military, veterans, first responders and family members. Conversations about mental health, transitioning out of the military, career opportunities and resources for veterans were led by panelists Blake Hogan of Bunker Labs, Kris Larson of LAFD, Thomas McDaniel of the U.S. Army, and Master Chief Latoya Luter of the U.S. Navy.
Two additional guests also spoke during the panel: Dr. Rebecca Giltin, a clinical psychologist with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health and Dennis Tucker, a Veteran’s Program manager at Metro.
The theme night shows the Los Angeles Sparks’ continued commitment to giving back to the brave men and women who have served our country. In addition to the panel, the Sparks feature a Military & Veteran Affairs and First Responders community outreach pillar.
Programs and resources have been compiled on the Sparks website. To read about the “Spark the True You” women military and veterans program and other resources available to those who have served, head to https://sparks.wnba.com/military-veteran-affairs-first-responders/ .
“The Sparks aim to educate, assist, and active a growing community of support across Southern California for active duty, women veterans, and their families who are looking for ways to be successful and achieve their ultimate physical, spiritual, emotional, mental health and well-being goals.”