PITTSBURGH, Dec. 9, 2016 -- Playing video games often carries connotations of Italian plumbers saving princesses from castles or armored space Marines shooting aliens, but for a group of wounded veterans, it represented an opportunity to heal and rediscover bonds similar to those formed in the military. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Stack-Up, a charity organization that brings veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming, hosted a special Xbox night for these warriors.
Army veteran and wounded warrior Timothy Samaroo was there, relishing the atmosphere that is familiar to many gamers – loud cheering, lots of good-natured trash talk, and friendships forged and "destroyed" in the crucible of Halo multiplayer.
OAHU, Hawaii, Dec. 9, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and family members recently participated in a community outreach event to help homeless veterans in Hawaii. WWP joined more than 25 organizations taking part in the annual Homeless Veteran Stand Down – an event to provide clothing, food, and resources to homeless veterans in the area. Warriors participating in the volunteer opportunity experienced firsthand what is possible when exposed to social events that connect them with their service brothers and sisters – as well as their local communities.
WWP veterans and their families stayed busy by welcoming and escorting homeless veterans, serving food, and speaking about WWP's free programs and services at the organization's resource table. In addition to the meal, participating volunteer organizations provided clothing and access to several resources that focused on legal rights, housing, and benefits assistance.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., Dec. 9, 2016 -- In anticipation of delicious – and filling – holiday meals, many families are looking for ways to get out and stay physically active, and that is just what a group of veterans did with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) during a recent Turkey Trot 5K at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Running and walking with family and friends, warriors experienced firsthand what is possible when exposed to physical health and wellness gatherings that get them out of the house and engaged with fellow veterans.
The 5K was part of a monthly workout for wounded warriors involved in WWP's Physical Health and Wellness program, which is designed to reduce stress and combat depression while promoting healthy and active lifestyles. The program includes physical training opportunities, outdoor events, and nutrition classes.
NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2016 -- Motorcyclists and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters were united in their enthusiasm for warriors of the road and the ring at a series of Veterans Day gatherings hosted by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in partnership with Harley-Davidson® and the UFC®. WWP program events like this give wounded warriors an opportunity to rediscover the spirit of camaraderie they enjoyed during their military service – in a safe, fun atmosphere.
However, Ahmad Azmi, a Navy veteran and wounded warrior who is a self-professed UFC fanatic, said the atmosphere on Friday would've been best described as "electric."
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 7, 2016 -- For many warriors, the experiences they had in the military were some of the best of their lives – filled with fellowship, meaning, and direction. To help wounded veterans connect with others who have similar military backgrounds, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) hosted a motorcycle riding event in the Kansas City area.
One of the participants, Army veteran Ismael Alvarez, had attended WWP gatherings before – but nothing quite like this. A warrior he met at an event hosted by another veterans service organization pointed him toward WWP and its unique approach to empowering warriors to live life on their own terms.
LAS VEGAS (Dec. 5, 2016) – It was the 364th hand of the final table when Qui Nguyen (fittingly pronounced “win”) beat out Gordon Vayo to take the title of champion at The World Series of Poker®. Qui, a former nail salon owner, endured nine grueling hours of one-on-one play to take home over $8 million in winnings and the coveted gold bracelet.
Gathered behind him in the stands was his family – all wearing matching shirts emblazoned with Qui’s name, face, and now-iconic raccoon hat. And the arm sleeve displayed another graphic of importance to the Nguyen family – the logo of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
VICTORIA, Minn., Dec. 2, 2016 -- It was lock and load for a group of wounded veterans, steeling themselves against the cool autumn air at Marsh Lake Hunting Club. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) brought them together to enjoy a day of duck and pheasant hunting, as well as clay pigeon shooting.
Army veteran Joseph Hill arrived at the hunting club to find familiar faces, both among the staff and the warriors – it was not his first WWP rodeo. Still, the few new faces in the crowd gave him a familiar sense of nervousness, something he experienced at his first WWP gathering.
COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 2, 2016 -- A group of injured veterans learned all about the art of glassblowing during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event in Columbia, South Carolina. During the workshop, warriors experienced what is possible when exposed to social events that get them out of the house and engaged with fellow service members.
Participants learned about the ancient craft as a lead glassblower – or gaffer – explained each step of forming colorful and unique items out of molten globs of silica. Then, warriors got involved in the creative process as each one took a turn picking up the large blowpipe.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 21, 2016 -- As an 11-year Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, Yvette Francis was certainly familiar with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). In fact, she had crossed paths with the organization more than once.
"I was first told about Wounded Warrior Project back in 2009 when I returned home from Iraq the second time," she said. "I remember getting a pretty shirt, but I figured the organization was probably just something for people who are still in the military. I didn't take it seriously."