FORD ISLAND, Hawaii, (February 23, 2016) – The first Annual "Swing Back to the '40s" dinner, dance, and silent auction had attendees in full swing at Pacific Aviation Museum's Hanger 37 in Pearl Harbor.
Wounded veterans and their family members were invited to attend the dinner and dance gala as part of the WWP Alumni program. The Alumni program is one of 20 free programs and services from WWP and offers a wide range of activities and events throughout the year.
A local swing dance club hosted mini-lessons throughout the evening so all could enjoy a jitterbug and learn to swing dance. Many injured veterans and their families got a feel for the era as they toured the museum and historical setting.
“My favorite part of the evening was a combination of the nostalgic location, with the band, and everyone dressing up. Everyone really got into the 1940's spirit, which brought me to that time period,” said Jenn Strasser, Army veteran and WWP Alumna. “Other event-goers and I shared and talked about how much fun it was to learn about the 1940's while researching for our outfits.”
Throughout the hanger, special 1940’s backdrops were positioned for attendees to capture photographic memories in front of World War II fighter jets and bombers. Everyone enjoyed an amazing dinner buffet and WWP Alumni won awards for best pin-up, most dapper, and best-dressed couple.
The silent auction raised over two thousand dollars to support Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and their mission to honor and empower wounded warriors.
“Being part of WWP has truly changed my post-military life. I have been out of the Army for six years, however, felt lost without the camaraderie I had once enjoyed in the Army,” Jenn said. “I originally didn't think I belonged in WWP since I didn't have a physical injury… However, WWP has empowered me to accept the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that I'd been too embarrassed to acknowledge over the years and has made me feel like an accepted part of a community of veterans.”
Currently, more than 100,000 wounded service members, their family members, and caregivers receive support each year through free WWP programs and services. During the month of January 2016, WWP engaged with 16,315 warriors through various Alumni program events, activities and outreach efforts.
“WWP helped me with my VA claim, which I’d been struggling to understand the process and WWP introduced me to other organizations such as Team RWB and Team Rubicon, as well as the benefits of the VA,” Jenn shared. “WWP has also shown me that my future path will always involve helping other veterans, and I can't thank them enough.”
WWP’s Benefits Service program provides support and education for Alumni and their families and helps them make the most of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense benefits. The team also engages Alumni in WWP programs and services, ensuring access to the community resources necessary for successfully transitioning after injury.