JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 3, 2017 -- The biggest event in football is almost upon us, and fans everywhere are getting ready. Couches and big-screen TVs are being positioned perfectly in living rooms, and party plans are being finalized. And when families and friends finally gather to watch the season-ending game, the million-dollar commercials, and the halftime show, they will also feast on snacks. Lots of snacks.
HONOLULU, Feb. 2, 2017 -- During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connection event at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, injured veterans cleaned and performed maintenance on planes and helicopters. The activities were part of the museum's Adopt an Aircraft program. In addition to helping their local community, participants experienced the benefits of getting out of the house and connecting with fellow service members.
WWP volunteers toured the museum with a group from Team Red, White & Blue before getting to work. Participants cleaned the aircraft in Hangar 79, pausing only for lunch, which gave them an opportunity to get to know one another.
DALLAS, Feb. 1, 2017 -- Marine Corps veteran Jeremiah Shock patiently sat – eyeing his target and lining up his shot – before squeezing the trigger on a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing.
"I took my breaths, slowed my heart rate, cleared my mind, and then looked one final time as I pulled the trigger," Jeremiah said.
He brought down a 170-pound feral hog outside of Dallas. WWP took Jeremiah and other warriors to not only hunt but also gather with other veterans. Warriors spent time with game wardens and a group of volunteers that shadowed each veteran to help with the hunt.
BLOWING ROCK, N.C., Feb. 1, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and their families recently took to the slopes for a day of skiing and snowboarding. Participants experienced firsthand the benefits of getting out of the house, connecting with fellow service members, and becoming involved in their local community.
Warriors and their children arrived ready to tackle the mountain, but first, they got to know one another over dinner and took part in an icebreaker activity. The next morning, participants strapped on their boards and skis as they listened to basic skiing and snowboarding instructions, and they were soon gliding over the powder.
POQUOSON, Va., Jan. 31, 2017 -- Local warriors recently attended a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) mental health workshop at a mountain lodge and ski park in Pennsylvania. These gatherings are often the first time warriors leave their homes to connect with others in their communities.
"This workshop put me more at ease than traditional counseling," said Jeff Lamprecht, retired U.S. Army pilot from Poquoson, Virginia. "I feel more comfortable and relaxed among veterans than civilians – you know they have your back. That comfort really allowed me to push myself."
WWP's Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP) addresses the mental health needs of warriors returning from war. Thanks to generous donors, WWP offers veterans specialized mental health programs and services – tailored to each warrior's needs, free of charge.
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 31, 2017 -- Purchasing a house can be a daunting process, especially for those unsure about how to use home loan benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event, a group of injured veterans learned about getting the most from their benefits while connecting with fellow service members.
WWP staff teamed up with home loan specialists for the gathering. Warriors and guests learned about saving money and building equity as well as the importance of shopping around for realtors and lenders.
Ever since fellow combat veterans told him about the organization, Army veteran Pemberton Tran takes part in as many WWP outings as possible. The benefits seminar was useful, he said, because it allowed him to better plan for his future.
ATLANTA, Jan. 30, 2017 -- A group of veterans served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently learned new techniques for managing their physical health and wellness at an Atlanta expo. The three-day event was available to veterans of all fitness levels – no matter where they were in their recoveries. Throughout the gathering, WWP staff and coaches assisted in the physical – and emotional – challenges of the event.
"I came into the event hoping to learn how to lose weight and stay healthy," said Army Veteran Valerie Lewis. "I want to stay motivated and make it a routine, so it becomes part of my day-to-day life. When I arrived, however, I was so nervous that I almost left."
HAGERSTOWN, Md., Jan. 30, 2017 -- Veterans recently connected at a recurring Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) dinner and trivia event. Participants teamed up, engaged in a good-natured battle, and experienced the benefits of getting out into the community and connecting with fellow service members.
"Everyone loves this event because it's laid-back without any awkward pressure," said Army veteran Laura Wilkinson. "I'm a secluded person, but this gets me out of the house. It's nice to be able to reach out for a hand to hold, especially when it's the hand of a fellow warrior."
Warriors chatted over dinner and discussed programs offered by WWP and partner organizations. After the meal, the group split into teams and ramped up the competition for the trivia match.
CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently joined forces with Stack-Up, a charity organization that brings veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming, to host a game night for injured veterans. While video gaming often carries the stereotype of being anti-social, for many attendees it represented something completely different.
"A lot of people, including myself, love to play games in our free time," explained Marine Corps veteran Steven Philpott. "I've got many buddies who did that on their deployments, and that's how they stay in touch. I play with a lot of friends on Battlefield and Tom Clancy games, and we do it for the same reason. Think of it as a nine-hour interactive phone call with your closest friends."
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2017 -- Injured veterans explored the tranquil side of physical health and wellness during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event in Washington D.C. As participants learned the fundamentals of yoga, they experienced the benefits of attending social events that get them out of the house and connected with fellow veterans who are also looking to improve their overall health and increase their mobility.
Bluebird Sky Yoga owner and instructor Jennie Light accommodated participants of all ability levels and skill sets as she led the group through different physical postures and introduced them to the eight limbs of yoga. The first four limbs help refine personalities, gain mastery over the body, and develop an energetic awareness of ourselves. The last four limbs deal with the senses, the mind, and attaining a higher state of consciousness.