DARIEN, Conn. – Lexy Stauffer knows she can’t do much for her brother Christian directly, as he’s more than 6,500 miles from her work in Darien. But next week she and her employer will launch a program to help Christian, and other soldiers like him, at least in some way.
Christian Stauffer graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and then moved on to Army Ranger School. He is now an Army first lieutenant, and was sent to Afghanistan for his first tour overseas in May.
“Christian is an incredibly smart and talented leader and I am so proud of him, his bravery, and his willingness to sacrifice,” his sister wrote in an e-mail. “I am proud to be his sister.”
One month after his deployment later she remembers hearing a news report about a suicide bombing in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. Ten Afghan students, two U.S. servicemen and an Afghan policeman were killed in the blast.
Her brother was not harmed, but she recalls the uneasy feeling that she had when she first heard the news report.
“I cannot do anything to protect him, though. As a fiercely protective little sister, this isn’t easy for me to deal with,” she wrote. “All I can do is be supportive. So I decided to get creative with that responsibility.”
So, as a manager at Darien’s Elements Yoga & Wellness Center, she is doing what she can from here. The Heights Road yoga studio will sponsor Yoga for Warriors week, a week-long fund-raiser to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Christian Stauffer's platoon.
The Wounded Warrior Project helps soldiers returning from overseas with a variety of programs, including physical therapy, support groups, job placement and transition assistance. The 10-year-old organization supports “tens of thousands of Wounded Warriors, family members and caregivers each year,” according to its website.
The fund-raiser runs from Sept. 5 to 12. The event features three ways to help. Throughout the week Elements Yoga will host a silent auction, with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. On the final day of the fund-raiser, Stauffer and Elements Yoga co-owner Bruce Bassock will lead an all-levels yoga class, with admission fees going to theproject.
All week, those interested can also drop off items for a care package, which will go directly to Christian Stauffer’s platoon. Suggested donations include instant coffee, non-perishable foods and snacks, toiletries, batteries, books and other forms of entertainment. A full list is available here.
Elements Yoga & Wellness Center is at 354 Heights Road, Darien. For more information on Yoga Warriors Week or the studio's services, visit its website.