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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE

Injured combat veterans find healing along the shore

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Their wounds from war may be invisible, but an estimated 400,000 service members have them. Combat stress, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries are signature wounds of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Injured warriors suffering from these disorders can often lock themselves in their own homes, fearing anything on the outside will trigger negative memories from the battlefield.

Wounded Warrior Project brought nearly two dozen of these heroes to St. Augustine for a mental health retreat. For many, this was the first time they had left their homes to engage in the community.

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BOISE, Idaho (Sept. 13, 2016) – During a recent day hike near Boise, injured veterans got a taste of the great outdoors. The hike helped them keep up with their commitments to an eight-week Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) physical health and wellness program. 

A group of veterans and their families in the Pacific Northwest are actively taking part in the virtual hiking program, which requires participants to walk or hike three to four times per week on their own and track their progress. Through warrior-created Facebook pages, many participants – like the hikers in Boise – have opted to meet for group hikes. As veterans are getting out of the house and enjoying time with family and new friends, they are staying active and improving their overall health.

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OCALA, Fla. – White canvases transformed into moonlit skies filled with stars and fireflies during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event. In Ocala, Florida, painting instructors exposed injured veterans and guests to the world of amateur painting as the social gathering helped get them engaged with their service brothers and sisters. 

As participants arrived, they were fitted with painters’ smocks and seated at their easels. After a few icebreaking art exercises, the painting instructor explained that the warriors would create their masterpieces in tandem with their partners, with two canvases becoming one whole image when put together. 

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MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md. (Sept. 12, 2016) – Lots of people like to take advantage of open roads and enjoy a leisurely Sunday cruise. A group of injured veterans with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) took an extra special trek as they escorted hundreds of motorcycle riders for the Second Annual Ride with the Heroes.

Participants rode across Maryland on a 65-mile rural tour themed “Main Street Maryland.” Wounded warriors and other riders enjoyed the enthusiastic applause, waves, and greetings from the community as they passed through the countryside and small towns.

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (September 7, 2016) – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently helped injured veterans and their families take advantage of the waning days of summer by teaching them an ancient pastime, still very much enjoyed at America’s beaches today – surfing.

More than 60 participants congregated at Corpus Christi’s Bob Hall Pier for a day of fun in the sun. Those who wanted to learn to ride the waves enjoyed surfing lessons. Those content to sit back and observe enjoyed mingling with fellow warrior families and WWP staff members. WWP supports warriors in all stages of recovery, and program events like this give them an opportunity to experience firsthand what is possible when exposed to social gatherings that get them out of the house and engaged with fellow service members.

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New CEO Pledges Substantial Changes to Streamline WWP and Continue Important Work to Support Wounded Service Members, Veterans and Their Families

JACKSONVILLE, FL. (August 31, 2016) – The new CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), Lieutenant General Mike Linnington, United States Army, Retired, is announcing changes to the structure of the organization to fulfill its mission to provide quality care and support to America’s wounded service members and veterans. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.”

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