US Marine Captain and 2026 Olympic Hopeful Joins Shields & Stripes

by | Jun 29, 2024 | News

Welcome Shields & Stripes Ambassador, Riley Tejcek!

As we celebrate the spirit of independence this July, we are honored to announce our newest Ambassador, Riley Tejcek, who is an Active Duty Marine and Captain in the USMC, as well as an accomplished athlete of the USA Bobsled Team.

The success of our mission relies on incredible individuals, who spread awareness of our cause, including our dedicated Ambassadors. The Shields & Stripes program is free of cost to veterans and first responders and is entirely funded by donations. We are honored to have Riley on our team!

Riley is a formidable role model and a living testament to the strength of women in both the military and athletics. This extends into being a passionate advocate for sexual assault awareness and prevention. As a veteran herself, her commitment to bettering the lives of veterans and raising awareness about this critical issue aligns perfectly with our organization’s goals.

Sexual assault is a pervasive issue that knows no boundaries, affecting individuals across all walks of life and carrying profound consequences. Survivors often face lasting effects such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and difficulties in relationships and careers. These challenges can be compounded by societal judgment and lack of support. Without proper care, the quality of life for survivors can significantly deteriorate.

Military Sexual Trauma (MST) refers to sexual harassment or assault that happen during military service. It is used to describe the effects of this trauma experienced by military personnel, regardless of gender. MST is experienced by both men and women however it’s far more likely to be experienced by women.

Sexual assault in the military has unique implications. A 2019 Department of Defense (DOD) report showed a total of 7,825 cases of military sexual assault, but underreporting means the real number is likely higher due to fear of retaliation and stigma. At Shields & Stripes, we address and treat the multifaceted issues affecting veterans and first responders, including the delicate issue of sexual assault. We recognize the unique challenges MST survivors face and are committed to providing comprehensive support through counseling and integrative therapies.

“Healing takes a village. Shields & Stripes is offering that village.”

Lindsey Kurtz

Alumni, Shields & Stripes

Through her ambassadorship with Shields & Stripes, Riley aims to amplify her advocacy, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive support systems for veteran survivors of sexual assault as well as raise awareness of our program to female veterans.

Our Commitment

Our program addresses a wide range of issues, including PTSD and other traumas. Our approach for MST survivors includes mental health counseling, peer support, and integrative therapies that promote healing and resilience.

Our team of expert licensed therapists specializes in trauma-informed care, ensuring that veterans and first responders receive the specialized support they need. We offer a range of integrative therapies, including yoga, meditation, sleep hygiene, and nutritional therapy, to promote holistic healing. Healing is a personal journey that requires an individualized approach.

We know veterans and first responders naturally bond in group settings. We combine the benefits of individualized therapy with the camaraderie of group therapy. Through our group therapy, survivors of sexual assault find solace and strength, knowing they are not alone in their healing journey. We create a safe and supportive environment where survivors can choose to share their experiences without fear of judgment, fostering life-long friendships.

How You Can Help – “Donate Eight”

Riley invites you to join her campaign, “Donate Eight.” The Shields & Stripes program provides a new beginning for those we serve. The number eight symbolizes new beginnings, balance, and regeneration.

Join our cause by signing up for “Donate Eight.” A small monthly donation of $8 will make a significant impact.

“I will forever be grateful for my family at Shields & Stripes; through their continued efforts have learned how to live my life again and experience the happiness and joy that I had long been separated from.”

George Booth

Alumni, Shields & Stripes

When you donate $8 monthly, you’re giving veterans and first responders a new beginning. Let’s make a difference together for those who’ve served our country and communities!

Other Ways to Join The Cause

One Time Monetary Donation: Every donation makes a difference. 

Volunteer: We welcome passionate volunteers. Whether you have professional skills or just want to help, your involvement is invaluable. Email contact@shieldsandstripes.org.

Raise Awareness: Share this blog, follow us on social media, and help spread the word about our mission.

Donate Services or Products: We host annual fundraising events and collaborate with businesses for silent auction items and raffles that raise money for our program. Contact katie.balash@shieldsandstripes.org.

About the Author

  • Mike Bires

    Mike Bires has over 30 years of military and law enforcement experience. He is the developer of the Shields & Stripes website and works with the Marketing Team to advance the organization's digital presence.