JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (August 26, 2016) – There was a time when Bill Geiger overreacted far too often – and he’s the first to admit it.
“I exploded when the anger got to be too much for me,” the Army veteran said. “Even a small event would set me off into a tailspin of depression.”
That was before Bill enrolled in Warrior Care Network™, a partnership between Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and four top academic medical centers around the country. Warrior Care Network provides intense outpatient programs for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other mental health conditions, all at no cost to the warrior or their family. The innovative collaboration tailors mental health care to wounded veterans, leading them to new methods to cope with challenges.
KILLEEN, Texas (August 24, 2016) – With a new school year on the horizon, so too is the need for pencils, paper, and other educational supplies. Students and parents filled the civic and conference center in Killeen last week, waiting for their chance to gear up for the new school year.
“I organized this event to help students in Central Texas whose families may not be able to buy everything they need to return to the classroom,” said organizer Jamaica Mitchell, who teamed up with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to help students for this occasion. WWP purchased backpacks and supplies to provide for more than 120 students of wounded veterans.
MONTCLAIR, Va. (August 22, 2016) – Many Americans regularly wish for better sleep, but it is an especially desirable thing for wounded veterans who struggle with challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently hosted a yoga class for injured warriors to introduce them to moves that help provide deeper sleep and a sense of calmness.
“I have taken some of this teacher’s classes before, but this one was more relaxing,” said Coast Guard veteran Chris Burnside. “The breathing techniques have helped me manage my PTSD.”
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (August 19, 2016) – Children of injured veterans were set up for a successful school year during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) back-to-school open house. Warriors and family members gathered at the WWP Cambridge office, where they received information about the back-to-school process, along with a bounty of supplies.
From binders to crayons to writing utensils, families found everything needed for their school-aged children. And because no one wants to carry so much loot by hand, a selection of WWP backpacks was also available.
SAN DIEGO (August 19, 2016) – Nearly 150 wounded warriors and their family members recently spent the night with cheetahs and elephants at a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program gathering at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The outing allowed injured veterans to experience firsthand what is possible when offered opportunities to get out of the house and engage with their service brothers and sisters.
“I was so happy to meet new warriors and their families,” said Army veteran Sonia Gonzalez. “I don’t get out much to associate with others, and this was an awesome experience for myself, my daughter, grandkids, and nephew. We were able to really bond, and I truly look forward to more experiences like this with WWP.”
BELLE PAINE, Kan. (August 18, 2016) – The presence of heavy rain did nothing to stop the fun at a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) programmatic outreach gathering. Through some paintball rounds of friendly competition, wounded warriors experienced what is possible when exposed to social events that get them out of the house and engaged with their service brothers and sisters.
The group of injured veterans met at Graffiti Paintball, eager to brave the elements and try their hands at the seven obstacle-filled challenge courses. Putting expert military training to good use, the group navigated the fields, facing off against opponents with an arsenal of brightly colored pellets.
NEW ORLEANS, La. (August 18, 2016) – Injured veterans and their family members recently joined Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to celebrate nature and view its diversity at the Audubon Nature Institute’s zoo and aquarium. While viewing a variety of wildlife, participants forged bonds with fellow military families.
With the Audubon Zoo located in the historic uptown of New Orleans and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas adjacent to the French Quarter on the Mississippi River, the outing offered a glimpse of the Crescent City’s most notable locations. Exhibits ran the gamut from familiar – including screech owls, Louisiana black bears, and sea turtles – to the obscure, with tapirs, colobus monkeys, black diamond leopoldi stingrays, and rhinoceros hornbills. Guests also saw curiosities like dragonhead katydids and sunburst diving beetles at the insectarium.
PETERSBURG, Fla. (August 17, 2016) – Before the hustle and bustle of a new school year, many families like to get out in the sun and enjoy one last bit of summer fun. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently helped a large group say goodbye to the carefree season in style with an end-of-summer celebration at The Getaway in St. Petersburg.
More than 100 injured veterans and family members took part in the celebration, which included water activities and a make-your-own taco bar. WWP teamed up with Urban Kai to provide paddleboarding and kayaking to willing participants.
MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (August 16, 2016) – During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program gathering, wounded warriors and their guests had the opportunity to try something new – monster stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). These supersized boards are 18 feet long and inflatable, and can accommodate three to six people. The fun day on the water allowed injured veterans to get to know each other in a relaxed setting, while being physically active.
“Just having something to look forward to and getting out of the house helps me in so many ways,” said Army veteran Rich Davis. “It was an awesome experience to see people I already know and meet other veterans. It’s usually hard for me to talk to new people, but everyone there was so cool and just wanted to have fun.”
Jericho, N.Y. (August 16, 2016) – One of the biggest challenges wounded veterans face during their recovery is living healthy and active lifestyles. Years of regimented physical training during military service can be a far cry from the level of physical activity they experience in civilian life. Combined with bodily injuries that may limit movements or exercise, it can be difficult for wounded veterans to maintain their health. That is why Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) hosts programs and summits that help warriors explore healthy lifestyles through fitness training, nutrition, and cooking.
When Air National Guard veteran Peter Grajewski walked into his first WWP program gathering, a fitness summit, he didn’t know anyone but quickly recognized other warriors were there for the same reason.