SAN DIEGO, Aug. 11, 2017 -- When Marine Corps veteran Nicole Robinson arrived in San Diego, she had two goals – to support the other warriors around her and stay positive. She attended Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride® with 40 wounded veterans to connect with them while challenging herself during the multi-day bicycling event.
"Adaptive sports are really important, and they helped saved my life," Nicole said. "After my injury got really bad, I missed running, hiking, and staying active."
Like all of WWP's physical health and wellness programs, Soldier Ride is adaptable to the stage of recovery of each wounded veteran. At the start of every Soldier Ride, warriors are fitted with adaptive cycling equipment to accommodate injuries and make the ride as comfortable as possible. For Nicole, this was especially important with her severe injury that greatly limits her mobility.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11, 2017 -- It might be hard to imagine a bicycle race more iconic than the Tour De France, but in America, there's one race that's much more challenging. The Race Across America (RAAM) is not only 30 percent longer than the Tour de France, but it must also be completed in half the time. Finishing it is impressive in its own right – but for a team with an average age of 64, completing it under nine days is unbelievable.
Yet, that's exactly what Randy Horton and his team did – but not just for glory and the adventure of a lifetime. Randy and his team did it to raise awareness and support for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and the warriors it serves.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 11, 2017 -- Robert McGregor spent nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy, experiencing duty stations around the world and holding several roles, including helicopter pilot, air traffic officer, and flight instructor. The retired lieutenant commander recently found himself in front of instructors during a career boot camp at Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
"I retired from the Navy in 2014, and I have been struggling to find employment since," Robert said. "Transitioning from the military can be a very challenging time for many vets."
Robert went back to school after retiring but found no career options, even after earning a master's degree in business administration.
"I realized I needed a certification in project management to get my resume noticed. I had already used my GI Bill."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 10, 2017 -- The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp recently welcomed warriors and family members served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) for a night of baseball, fireworks, and camaraderie. Gatherings like this don't just allow wounded veterans to enjoy a night out with family members – they're also a chance to connect with other local warriors who share their life experiences. These relationships can be instrumental in building support systems that help with recovery from the wounds of war.
"Baseball has always been one of my favorite sports to watch," said Navy veteran Clint Haskell. "I haven't lived in Florida very long, and I haven't been to a game in years. Being back in the atmosphere of the ballpark was a great feeling. And I connected with some veterans I had not met before. No matter how many times you attend a Wounded Warrior Project event, you can always meet someone new who can give advice or perspective on life and its challenges."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 10, 2017 -- Video games brought warriors into a virtual world in Jacksonville as veterans charity Stack-Up teamed with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) for a night filled with friendly competition, food, and fellowship. Stack-Up is a charity organization that brings veterans and civilian supporters together through a shared love of video gaming.
"Wounded Warrior Project provided me with the tools needed to be a functional veteran," said Air Force veteran Julio Quinones. "They've done some very big things in my life – so when I heard they were hosting a game night, which intrigued me. I wouldn't call myself a gamer, but I'm really interested in technology."
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 9, 2017 -- The supporters of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) come from all walks of life, and their generosity allows WWP to provide free, life-changing programs and services to injured veterans, their caregivers, and family members. David Britt of Charlotte, North Carolina, wanted to support WWP and the warriors it serves through music.
"After watching 'American Sniper' at home one afternoon a couple months ago, it just hit me – I had to write another song," David said. "I'd seen the movie numerous times, but something that day was different. I was overcome with emotion. I thought about all the men and women who've served and didn't make it back home at all. Then I thought about my kids, and I lost it. I had to write a song to say 'thank you' to our soldiers.
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 8, 2017 -- Local warriors recently attended a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) mental health workshop in Carlsbad, California. These gatherings are often the first time warriors leave their homes to connect with others in their communities.
"I definitely underestimated post-traumatic stress, and I allowed it to control my life," said Mike Atchison, U.S. Army veteran from San Diego, California. "I lost everyone and everything I liked or loved. It left me with extreme hate, rage, fear, anger, depression, and anxiety. I abused alcohol and drugs to cope with my mixed emotions."
Through the generous support of donors, WWP offers veterans specialized mental health programs and services – tailored to each warrior's specific needs and free of charge.
NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2017 -- Veterans with service-related health issues received instant relief when Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) held a Benefits Claims Day at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regional office in New York City.
"My claim was open since 2012," said Carlos Gonzalez, U.S. Army wounded warrior and local NYC resident. "Wounded Warrior Project took me to this event and put me in front of the VA representative who was going to review my claim – I had a decision the same day."
Carlos' approval came with more than $38,000 in retroactive benefits service pay the following day.
MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 26, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans recently read books to kindergarten and first-grade children at Dozier and Wilson elementary schools as part of a volunteer program they created called the Warrior Reading Initiative. This group of warriors is an extension of WWP's Peer Support group based in Atlanta, Georgia, where injured veterans meet monthly to connect with one another, share personal experiences, and collaborate on coping mechanisms that can help in recovery.
Warrior-to-warrior peer support plays an important role in the healing process as it allows injured veterans to build relationships based on shared experiences. The Peer Support program is dedicated to ensuring every injured veteran, family member, and caregiver encourages one another in recovery, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another off the battlefield.
During the book reading, warriors, students, and school staff experienced firsthand what is possible when injured veterans are exposed to programs and services that honor and empower them.
LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2017 -- Filmmaking brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, the creative minds behind "Togetherness," are launching "Room 104." The new HBO anthology series is set in a single motel room and tells the stories of the various guests that pass through it. To celebrate the show's release on July 28, they've teamed up with DEC Artists to raise awareness and support for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and the warriors it serves.
"The idea for the #DoMore104 campaign came from our belief that there is always room to do more good things for others," said Daniel Dart, DEC Artists founder. "How can we help? How can we do more? We're raising money to support the men and women of our armed forces and thank them for all they've done. Wounded Warrior Project has done a fantastic job supporting our nation's wounded veterans. And I think rallying around these wounded warriors is a cause that can unite us all."