INVERNESS, FLA. (September 18, 2015) – Injured service members donned (earmuffs) and boarded airboats to see Florida’s waterways recently. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) took the veterans on the journey through Inverness as part of its Alumni program.
Many wounded service members return to civilian life dealing not only with their visible injuries but invisible ones as well. The Veterans Administration estimates more than 300,000 service members return from the battlefield suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The WWP Alumni program creates support through shared experiences. WWP sees opportunities to engage veterans with each other and the community as a chance to heal. These veterans are considered alumni because of the dues they paid while serving our country.
During the airboat tour, veterans had a chance to see and learn about the wetlands of west-central Florida. WWP Alumnus and veteran Stephen Eldridge says the weather stayed perfect during the entire visit.
“The air boat staff were very accommodating and informative about the area,” Eldridge said. “The highlight - the ability to enjoy the peaceful scenic waterscapes while sensing the thrill of the fan boat ride when the guide hit the gas and sped across the water. I have not experienced such a thrill since my military service.
The group also had a chance to meet Bubba, a resident alligator, who the guides fed during the trip.
They also learned about the 20 programs and services WWP offers, all free of charge. While the Alumni program offers camaraderie, other programs such as Transition Training Academy (TTA) and Education Services help veterans with courses and assistance to economically empower the service member.