JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 13, 2017 -- Today is National Napping Day, a holiday that is observed annually the day following the return of daylight saving time. To commemorate this holiday, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) wanted to explore how some of our nation's veterans have benefited from naps. However, we asked for the most unique, funny, or outright ridiculous napping stories from their military services, like this one from Coast Guard veteran Casey O'Donnell.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 10, 2017 -- John Jacobson comes from a family of sailors. Both of his older brothers joined the Navy, so when he graduated high school, it seemed like a natural choice.
"My first ship was the USS Mississippi, a nuclear-powered cruiser out of Norfolk, Virginia," John said.
His career led him to a recruiting position in Minnesota, where health issues derailed his professional aspirations.
"I suffered pulmonary embolisms, and those blood clots cost me my career. A physical evaluation board found me unfit for sea duty and discharged me. I didn't even get to retire."
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 -- In 2017 Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) plans to target key issues in Congress that will protect seriously injured veterans from financial burdens, extend a program serving warriors with traumatic brain injuries, and improve appeals processes for veteran benefits.
WWP Chief Executive Officer Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington took these priorities to the Joint Veterans Affairs Committee in Congress this morning.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 9, 2017 -- Exposure to traumatic combat and operational experiences affects service members and veterans spiritually, psychologically, biologically, and socially. To date, an estimated 400,000 service members live with invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Still, the stigma associated with veterans' mental health creeps through our society as an increasing number of warriors cope with mental health issues.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is sharing three tips to help us all get over the stigma surrounding veterans' mental health.
INDIANAPOLIS, March 9, 2017 -- Marquita Pate first learned of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) while waiting to leave the military because of a disability.
"I was on orders in Virginia with another veteran waiting for our separations," said Marquita, a Navy veteran. "She told me about Wounded Warrior Project and helped me enroll."
Marquita became the 50,000th warrior to register with WWP. She helped the organization reach that milestone in March 2014. Three years later, WWP is approaching another major mark – registering its 100,000th warrior.
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) chief executive officer Mike Linnington will testify to Congress this morning about the needs of veterans. Linnington, who is a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, will talk about the growing needs of today's generation of wounded service members and veterans and how organizations like WWP are vital in filling the gaps in care and support.
Linnington will remind Congress of the importance of collaboration between government and nonprofits around the country. He will also push for better care for veterans living with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). An estimated 320,000 post 9/11 veterans live with a TBI today.
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va., March 9, 2017 -- Because no one is ever too old for Skee-Ball, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and family members recently spent a day bonding at Billy Bob's Wonderland. Children and adults played games and made friends, allowing veterans to see what is possible when they participate in activities that connect them with fellow service members in their communities.
Participants started the afternoon with a pizza lunch. Afterward, families tested their skills at mini-golf, laser tag, and more. Marine and Army veteran James Dunlap decided this family-oriented gathering would be a good choice for his first WWP event.
WOLCOTT, Conn., March 8, 2017 -- Alcott Elementary School students in seven grade levels spent weeks saving their pennies and allowances for a special school fundraiser known as "Penny Wars." The activity culminated with a presentation of the donations to the charity that was chosen by the students: Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
"The students raised $1,340 across seven grades," said Alcott school principal Shawn Simpson. "In addition to what these children learn through their studies, it's equally important that they learn how to support their communities and engage with others. I want everyone to leave the school with the skills to be able to give back to their communities. I want our kids to realize that they're part of something bigger than just this school, and how they can make a difference in other people's lives. Little feats can amount to huge things."
FORT CARSON, Colo., March 8, 2017 -- Jeremy Franklin's recovery with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) started long before he retired from the military. Injuries suffered during his Army career meant he would not make it to traditional military retirement age.
"I had no idea I would be getting medically separated before my full 20 years," Jeremy said. "I was able to make it 15 years, but due to my injuries, I am being medically retired."
The Army sent him to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson two years ago, where Jeremy got what he calls the best advice.
TAMPA, Fla., March 8, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride® recently rolled through Tampa, where a group of veterans enjoyed riding 36 miles alongside their fellow warriors. WWP program events like this give wounded warriors an opportunity to connect with fellow service members and learn they are not alone. Among the riders was Marine Corps veteran and wounded warrior Brian Fulford, who flew in from Alabama to participate in the event.
"My parents live near Tampa and came out to see me, which was a nice surprise," Brian said. "It was the best Wounded Warrior Project event I have ever been to. I struggle with some social anxiety, but I didn't feel like I needed to have my head on a swivel. I was able to have a good time and relax because the staff made me feel welcome."