On Thursday, June 8, Kurt Webber ’79, was one of 26 volunteers from throughout New England who were awarded the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award at an awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. For the past 25 years, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation have been recognizing volunteers for going above and beyond to give back to their communities. “Hundreds of nonprofit organizations annually nominate candidates to be recognized and hearing the heartwarming stories of volunteerism restores faith in all humanity,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Myra loved volunteering and positively impacting the lives of others. I am proud that we continue to honor her legacy of volunteerism in association with this award ceremony and love giving people who do so much for so many the recognition of being a Community MVP.”
Gillette, a longtime supporter of the New England Patriots and partner of the Patriots Foundation, served as the presenting sponsor for this year’s program. On hand to congratulate the award winners were President of Kraft Family Philanthropies Josh Kraft; Patriots, College and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett; and Procter & Gamble’s VP of Communications & Community Affairs, Global Grooming, Kara Buckley.
Webber of Gilford, New Hampshire was recognized as one of the 2023 recipients of the Myra Kraft MVP Award and his nonprofit charity, Camp Resilience, was given a generous $10,000 donation.
When reentering the civilian world, Veterans and First Responders often lose the familiar culture and structure that a career of service provides. The effect can be isolating. Guided by research from the Office of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Webber founded Camp Resilience. Camp Resilience uses a community collaborative approach to host therapeutic retreats to improve the health and resiliency of Veterans, First Responders and their families
“As one of the founders, I am very proud that we have run over 100 Camp Resilience retreats since 2014,” said Webber. “I am also proud that our retreats help Military, Veterans, and First Responders cope with what can sometimes be the devastating consequences of their service – issues like PTSD, moral injury, depression and/or physical injuries. Since these psychological, emotional and physical issues not only affect the Veterans and First Responders but can also seriously affect their families and loved ones, we are proud to offer retreats to help them as well. These issues are a result of their service to us, their fellow citizens, so our team at Camp Resilience honors this by helping them bounce back and improve their lives.”
The combination of outdoor recreation and facilitated peer to peer counseling makes a difference in the lives of participants who have experienced mental health issues. Webber has made it his mission to uplift every participant, reaching more than 1,000 individuals.
“My volunteer activities give more meaning and purpose to my life, and they make me feel good – which benefits my emotional and mental well-being,” stated Webber. “This is why at Camp Resilience we encourage the participants of our retreats to volunteer in their communities and give back as part of their healing process. This is a very meaningful and powerful way to not only help others but to also help yourself.”
Webber was commissioned as an Infantry officer, was a Platoon Leader in the 4th Infantry Division, an A-Team XO and Commander in the 10th Special Forces Group and a Company Commander in the 1st Armored Division. He also had two tours teaching Electrical Engineering at West Point and several Acquisition assignments. After retiring from the Army in the summer of 2001, he volunteered to return to active duty after the attacks of 9/11 and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as an advisor to the Iraqi Army.
Webber is continuing a legacy of service to his country and community that started with his grandfather, MG Kenneth E. Webber, USMA Class of 1923 and continued with his father, COL Kenneth E. Webber Jr, USMA Class of 1948 and brother, LTC Kenneth E. Webber III, USMA class of 1974. The legacy has continued with Kurt’s sons – Kristopher, USMA Class of 2010 and Kenneth, USMA Class of 2014 (and the 4th Kenneth Eugene Webber to graduate from USMA since he was named after his great-grandfather, grandfather and uncle).