HONOLULU, Jan. 4, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and family members recently spent a day exploring a movie-famous stretch of land at Kualoa Ranch in Honolulu. The event was one of WWP's gatherings that educates warriors, their families, and caregivers about additional programs and services to help in the recovery process, creates support through shared experiences, and builds camaraderie by connecting injured veterans to one another and warrior families.
Often, the road to recovery begins by getting out of the house. WWP program events and activities are held in settings that accommodate physical injuries and social anxieties and introduce warriors to the benefits of connecting with other injured veterans and getting involved with their communities.
ESTES PARK, Colo., Jan. 4, 2017 -- Since the cold weather has set in, Rocky Mountain National Park has transformed into a winter wonderland. A group of veterans took advantage of the white scenery during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) snowshoe hike. As injured veterans and family members braved the elements, they experienced firsthand what is possible at connection events that get them out of the house and socializing with fellow service members.
For most of the participants, strapping on snowshoes to make their way through the mountains was a brand new experience. The event focused on physical activity, perseverance, and connection – a chance for warriors to come together and bond over shared experiences.
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 3, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently gave veterans an opportunity to give back for the holiday season. The group of warriors and their families joined Move America Forward to create care packages for service members deployed overseas.
Inside the boxes, volunteers packed candy, socks, coffee, cookies, and lip balm, along with journals, bracelets, T-shirts, and other items from WWP. These things make the time away from home just a little easier for troops stationed in far-off destinations.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 30, 2016 -- In 2016, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride® journeyed coast to coast with bicycles and equipment to serve warriors in 22 cities. Over 1,600 wounded warriors and family members pedaled over 1,300 miles, experiencing everything Soldier Ride offers.
For some, attending this event was the first time they ventured out of their homes to connect with fellow veterans and the community. For others, it was the next step in an ongoing journey toward recovery by getting physically active again. Soldier Ride accommodates physical injuries and social anxieties by giving all participants custom-fitted bikes and adaptive equipment to make the ride as comfortable as possible.
CINCINNATI, Dec. 30, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently took veteran families to a farm near Cincinnati to help them pick the perfect Christmas tree.
Opportunities like this provide a social atmosphere that encourages wounded warriors to get out of their homes and connect with other veterans and families. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.7 percent) talked with fellow Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn veterans to address their mental health issues.
BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 30, 2016 -- A group of injured veterans and their families served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently had the opportunity to attend a Brooklyn Nets basketball game and connect with other warriors. For Army veteran Carlo Arellano, it was more than just a night out with his son. It was a chance to build relationships with other warriors from his area, in an environment that took away the stress of meeting new people.
"Who doesn't love a good basketball game?" Carlo said. "Even though I'm a Knicks fan, spending time connecting with my son and other warriors was a needed energy boost for me."
ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 30, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and family members kicked off the festive holiday by making chocolate delicacies at Ferris and Foster's Famous Chocolate Factory in Orlando, Florida. The event was one of WWP's gatherings that educates warriors, their families, and caregivers about additional programs and services to help in the recovery process, creates support through shared experiences, and builds camaraderie by connecting injured veterans to one another and warrior families.
Often, the road to recovery begins by getting out of the house. WWP program events and activities are held in settings that accommodate physical injuries and social anxieties and often introduce warriors to the benefits of connecting with other injured veterans and getting involved with their communities.
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 30, 2016 -- The holiday spirit was in full force at the Pittsburgh Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) office, where injured veterans and family members recently enjoyed a winter wonderland gathering. Warriors had the opportunity to connect with fellow service members in their community and learn about various WWP programs and resources.
"Connection events allow wounded warriors to step outside, meet new people, and form friendships," said Army veteran Tom Lieb, who attended with his wife. "We look forward to them for that very reason. It creates a sense of community and allows us to enjoy ourselves without having to worry. You know there are people around you can speak to and trust."
ROCKLEDGE, Fla., Dec. 30, 2016 -- During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing to ClayZ Arts, injured veterans and family members took a break from the hectic pace of the holiday season and gathered for a ceramics painting session. As they added personal touches to various clay crafts, participants experienced firsthand what is possible at social events that get them out of the house and connected with fellow service members.
Wounded warriors and guests gathered at the art studio where instructors taught them the basic techniques of painting intricate ceramic sculptures using a rainbow of glazes. From sculptures to coffee mugs to holiday serving platters, each participant was able to customize an item to be fired in the kiln. They were also able to form friendships with other military families in their community.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29, 2016 -- A group of wounded veterans joined Hollywood celebrities during the 11th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic on the greens of Saticoy Country Club. Hosted by GOTT Entertainment, the tournament brought together actor Michael Pena ("Ant-Man," "The Martian," "Shooter"), Hall of Fame NFL running back Marshall Faulk, and Grant Show ("Devious Maids"), among others, to raise support for the wounded warriors, caregivers, and families Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) serves.
Army veteran and experienced golfer Ryan Fowler was one of the warriors in attendance. Golf is a sport that has had a significant impact on his return to civilian life.