NAPLES, Fla., Dec. 14, 2016 -- The sunshine state is home to an incredible legacy of golf – and to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). During LPGA's season ending 2016 CME Group Tour Championship, warriors served by WWP had the chance to work on the 18th hole as flag tenders, while many more watched and cheered from the gallery.
"It was beautiful when I arrived," said Jessica Lynn Daubenmire, Air Force veteran and wounded warrior. "There were clear skies and a minor chill – perfect fall weather. One by one, the pros would come up to the hole I was working. A few of them signed autographs and even gave some of us mementos like golf gloves, club covers, or signed golf balls."
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 13, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) took a group of veterans and their families to tour the football facilities at Florida State University (FSU) recently. The warriors and families visited the trophy room, the locker room, and the field. They had opportunities to bond with one another and forge friendships similar to those formed in the military, and they even met with Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher.
"He was just as humbled to meet us as we were him," said National Guard veteran Brad Downey. "He was very genuine – as you would imagine – and very gracious to everyone from Wounded Warrior Project and their guests. For him to take that brief moment with us before a game is just an example of what a great person he truly is."
CARMEL, Ind., Dec. 12, 2016 -- Date nights do not always have to include dinner and a movie, as a group of injured veterans and guests learned during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event. During the Paint with Your Mate Date Night, participants spent the evening learning to paint unique masterpieces with step-by-step guidance from an experienced art instructor. As they honed their talents, they connected with their plus-ones as well as fellow wounded warriors.
Army National Guard veteran Chris Tucker said the outing was a welcome getaway for him and his wife, Nikki.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 12, 2016 -- The spirit of Thanksgiving is one of togetherness, delicious food, and recognizing the good things we have in our lives. Many local warriors and their families were able to experience that at a recent dinner hosted Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Christ's Church.
For Jason Cullum, lead pastor at Christ's Church, the program event was about giving back to those who had given so much to their communities.
"We wanted to do our best to honor the active duty service members and veterans here at home too," Jason said. "We thought it would be a great opportunity to love on them – and just be a family together during this time of the season."
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 9, 2016 -- Playing video games often carries connotations of Italian plumbers saving princesses from castles or armored space Marines shooting aliens, but for a group of wounded veterans, it represented an opportunity to heal and rediscover bonds similar to those formed in the military. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Stack-Up, a charity organization that brings veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming, hosted a special Xbox night for these warriors.
Army veteran and wounded warrior Timothy Samaroo was there, relishing the atmosphere that is familiar to many gamers – loud cheering, lots of good-natured trash talk, and friendships forged and "destroyed" in the crucible of Halo multiplayer.
OAHU, Hawaii, Dec. 9, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and family members recently participated in a community outreach event to help homeless veterans in Hawaii. WWP joined more than 25 organizations taking part in the annual Homeless Veteran Stand Down – an event to provide clothing, food, and resources to homeless veterans in the area. Warriors participating in the volunteer opportunity experienced firsthand what is possible when exposed to social events that connect them with their service brothers and sisters – as well as their local communities.
WWP veterans and their families stayed busy by welcoming and escorting homeless veterans, serving food, and speaking about WWP's free programs and services at the organization's resource table. In addition to the meal, participating volunteer organizations provided clothing and access to several resources that focused on legal rights, housing, and benefits assistance.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., Dec. 9, 2016 -- In anticipation of delicious – and filling – holiday meals, many families are looking for ways to get out and stay physically active, and that is just what a group of veterans did with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) during a recent Turkey Trot 5K at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Running and walking with family and friends, warriors experienced firsthand what is possible when exposed to physical health and wellness gatherings that get them out of the house and engaged with fellow veterans.
The 5K was part of a monthly workout for wounded warriors involved in WWP's Physical Health and Wellness program, which is designed to reduce stress and combat depression while promoting healthy and active lifestyles. The program includes physical training opportunities, outdoor events, and nutrition classes.
NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2016 -- Motorcyclists and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters were united in their enthusiasm for warriors of the road and the ring at a series of Veterans Day gatherings hosted by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in partnership with Harley-Davidson® and the UFC®. WWP program events like this give wounded warriors an opportunity to rediscover the spirit of camaraderie they enjoyed during their military service – in a safe, fun atmosphere.
However, Ahmad Azmi, a Navy veteran and wounded warrior who is a self-professed UFC fanatic, said the atmosphere on Friday would've been best described as "electric."
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 7, 2016 -- For many warriors, the experiences they had in the military were some of the best of their lives – filled with fellowship, meaning, and direction. To help wounded veterans connect with others who have similar military backgrounds, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) hosted a motorcycle riding event in the Kansas City area.
One of the participants, Army veteran Ismael Alvarez, had attended WWP gatherings before – but nothing quite like this. A warrior he met at an event hosted by another veterans service organization pointed him toward WWP and its unique approach to empowering warriors to live life on their own terms.
LAS VEGAS (Dec. 5, 2016) – It was the 364th hand of the final table when Qui Nguyen (fittingly pronounced “win”) beat out Gordon Vayo to take the title of champion at The World Series of Poker®. Qui, a former nail salon owner, endured nine grueling hours of one-on-one play to take home over $8 million in winnings and the coveted gold bracelet.
Gathered behind him in the stands was his family – all wearing matching shirts emblazoned with Qui’s name, face, and now-iconic raccoon hat. And the arm sleeve displayed another graphic of importance to the Nguyen family – the logo of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).