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BATON ROUGE, LA. (October 2, 2015) – One by one, wounded veterans boarded the USS Kidd along the banks of the Mississippi River. The Fletcher-class destroyer’s 38 caliber gun mounts still face the bow and the stern of the 72-year-old ship. One of the steam silos still shows the image of Captain William Kidd, a pirate chosen as a mascot for the ship during its maiden voyage. The USS Kidd is actually named for Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd.

The USS Kidd is a memorial to the USS Navy spirit, a reminder of the response following Pearl Harbor. The Navy launched the Kidd just more than 15 months after Japan bombed the Navy’s westernmost fleet. That attack was the catalyst that marked the U.S. entrance into World War II.

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLO. (October 1, 2015) – Nearly a dozen wounded veterans hiked miles along the Continental Divide Trail, experiencing the breath-taking views you can only experience from atop mountains. The hike and camping trip gave the injured service members not only a chance to enjoy nature, but also an opportunity to spend time and heal with fellow veterans.

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) believes in creating support through shared experiences. The WWP Alumni program brings wounded veterans together for outdoor events, sports, and even an online community to help grow that support. WWP considers veterans Alumni because of the sacrifices they have made for our country. There are no membership dues for Alumni; they paid those on the battlefield. The Alumni program is one of 20 free programs and services offered by WWP. 

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KANSAS CITY, MO (September 30, 2015) — When returning from combat, many service members find the transition back to civilian life challenging. Often, this challenge takes a toll on their relationships with their spouses, as they struggle to cope with the stress associated with their time in combat. It is with this in mind that Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) offers its Project Odyssey® couples retreats.

Last week, five couples from the Kansas City area participated in one of these retreats, designed to teach them how to rebuild trust and relationships affected by the experiences of combat. Over this five-day retreat, couples engaged with nature, with each other, and with Project Odyssey staff while participating in activities including high ropes courses, canoeing, a cooking class, and trust-building exercises.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (October 2, 2015) – When Kimberley Dotstry’s service with the U.S. Navy ended, the transition from military to civilian life was much more difficult than she expected. She loved the uniform, but when she was discharged, she felt adrift. She says there were more worries, less money, and greater uncertainty, and she eventually became homeless. 

“When you’re discharged, that’s it. You’re out. I was homeless and had to support my family. I needed help,” says Kimberley. “Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans stabilized my life and gave me balance.”

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., (September 25, 2015) – When Randy Horton hit the road from Newport Beach, California, it was a hot and sunny day. It is then fitting that he arrived in Jacksonville to almost identical weather. Starting on the wooden slats of the Newport Beach Pier 26 days ago, with nothing but supplies, his bicycle, and the grit to go the distance, the 64-year-old veteran has peddled over 3,000 miles, averaging 110 to 120 miles per day.

“I’m passionate about supporting our nation’s injured service members – the few who fight to protect the freedom of this great country,” said Randy. “Many come home with wounds you can and can’t see, like a missing limb, combat stress, or depression.”

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INVERNESS, FLA. (September 18, 2015) – Injured service members donned (earmuffs) and boarded airboats to see Florida’s waterways recently. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) took the veterans on the journey through Inverness as part of its Alumni program.

Many wounded service members return to civilian life dealing not only with their visible injuries but invisible ones as well. The Veterans Administration estimates more than 300,000 service members return from the battlefield suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The WWP Alumni program creates support through shared experiences. WWP sees opportunities to engage veterans with each other and the community as a chance to heal. These veterans are considered alumni because of the dues they paid while serving our country.

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida (September 21, 2015) – More than 12,300 golfers, including 567 injured service members, teed up for the fifth-annual “World’s Largest Golf Outing” at 132 courses in 28 states to raise a record $1,024,242 for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).

Since its inception in 2011, the World’s Largest Golf Outing has contributed more than $3 million to WWP.  A portion of golfers’ entry fees and 100% of donations benefit the organization whose mission is to honor and empowers Wounded Warriors. 

“It’s humbling to see this amazing event evolve into an industry-wide initiative,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of Billy Casper Golf who recently accepted WWP’s prestigious Talkhouse Award.  “Raising awareness and critical funds for the brave men and women whose sacrifices secure our freedom is paramount.”

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White Sulphur Springs, WV (September 23, 2015) – On September 26, The Greenbrier will host tennis legends Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, James Blake and Jim Courier for the fourth annual Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic. The event will support Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

“The generosity of supporters at events like The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic is what allows our organization to fulfill its mission of honoring and empowering Wounded Warriors,” said Adam Silva, chief development officer of WWP. “We are extremely thankful to The Greenbrier and its amazing staff and supporters. Their kindness will go a long way in helping provide critical resources to the warriors, families and caregivers Wounded Warrior Project serves through 20 free life-saving programs and services.”

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (September 17, 2015) – Allies on the battlefield enjoyed healthy competition on the golf course as 10 wounded veterans from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) squared off against 10 wounded service members from the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) Battle Back organization for the Courage Cup, hosted by WWP. This Ryder Cup-style golf tournament took place over three days at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with the Battle Back participants coming up victorious and bringing the trophy back to the U.K.

The participating WWP Alumni earned their spots on the team by participating in local, regional, and national golf events offered through the WWP Physical Health and Wellness program. They were selected to the team based on their golf skills in addition to their exemplary participation as WWP Alumni.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (September 15, 2015) – On September 11, 2015, injured veterans and staff members with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) joined service platoons from The Mission Continues (TMC), community volunteers, and parents for a day of service at Democracy Prep, a Washington, D.C., charter school in Congress Park.

“In the WWP Peer Support program, our mantra is ‘peer mentoring is not about me, it is about the warrior I am mentoring,’” said Ernest “EJ” Delpero, WWP Alumni and peer mentor. “Similarly, the 9/11 memorial project was about service, not self. It was about coming together with fellow veterans and making a positive impact in the community where there was great need. There is something empowering about a movement like that.”

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