LA JOLLA, Calif. (June 1, 2016) – He was used to wearing boots, camouflage, and a combat utility uniform, but not a mask, fins, and a snorkel. “I had never been snorkeling,” says U.S. Marine veteran Timothy Johnson. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently brought Timothy and other wounded warriors together for a front row seat to the vast variety of marine life in La Jolla, California.
“My son and I had a great time,” says Timothy. “It helped us get over our fear of the ocean. My son even relaxed enough to take some photos of the underwater landscape.”
If you were a fish, you would want to live in the warm waters of La Jolla, San Diego’s “Jewel by the Sea.” The aquatic paradise lives up to its nickname. Veterans and guests saw bright orange Garibaldi – the California state fish – seals, crabs, and countless other striking local sea life.
Wounded Warrior Project and America’s Warrior Partnership Helps Injured Veterans and their Families
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 1, 2016) – For years, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has recognized that working together and partnering with like-minded organizations produces a larger impact on the health and well-being of wounded veterans. Thanks to a partnership with America’s Warrior Partnership© (AWP), nearly 25,000 injured services members lives have changed for the better.
“Wounded Warrior Project believes a successful community requires many organizations working together to improve the quality of life for injured service members and their families,” said Ned Breslin, executive vice president at WWP. “Our collaborative efforts with America’s Warrior Partnership will ensure this generation of wounded veterans receives the critical resources they need to thrive.”
With a disarmingly soft-spoken voice, and slow Kentucky drawl, you sometimes have to strain to hear Kirk Theurer speak over the phone. The calm voice hides a no-nonsense style that can catch you off guard, a trait that seems to amuse Kirk. As he recounts his experiences at a fitness and nutrition summit in Louisville, Kentucky, his laughter comes easily. It’s a brief conversation, but he’s quick to open up and admits that it was an event that he was unprepared for.
“When we arrived, the pleasant treatment and welcoming atmosphere amazed me,” said Kirk. “The accommodations were top notch, the food was great, and the staff were so polite.”
Kirk notes early in the conversation that it was easy to make connections with attendees. “Probably because they’re injured veterans too, and we have a lot in common.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 26, 2016) – It’s not really that difficult. You stand up on an over-sized surfboard and casually paddle along. “It was really pretty easy,” says a laughing Jessika Lloyd, “until I fell off.” Jessika and her husband, U.S. Army veteran Justin Lloyd, recently tried one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Nashville Paddle Company hosted the unique event.
“I had a blast,” says Jessika. “That fall, as it turns out, did bust my eardrum, but I’m hooked. My husband and I will definitely SUP again.”
NEW YORK (May 19, 2016) – An 18-week training program for the New York Fire Department’s (FDNY) probationary firefighters was cut into five heart-pounding simulated teaching scenarios for wounded military veterans and their guests at the Fire Academy on Randalls Island, also known as “The Rock.” The event was a joint effort between the FDNY and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
MELBOURNE, Fla. (May 17, 2016) – If you can’t witness the soft orange, reddish pinks, and variations of yellow melted into a Florida sunset, why not take a brush to canvas and bring the calming colors home. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) brought a group of wounded veterans and their families together to share and create their version of a painted sky. Meeting in relaxed environments with peers who share common bonds is a key support initiative for the WWP Alumni program.
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (May 11, 2016) – Challenging themselves to go deeper and reach beyond their comfort zone, a group of wounded veterans recently attended a diving class organized by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). Hosted at the Nassau County Aquatic Center, the activity was part of the WWP Alumni program, which helps wounded service members by providing them a chance to forge relationships through empowering activities in relaxed and supportive environments.
Adam Sandoval’s voice has the earnestness and enthusiasm of a person who is on top of the world, giving off the mood of an emotional high similar to what athletes who have just won a championship sound like. Even over the phone, his passion for his cause is evident in every syllable.
It seems a strange attitude, given that Adam has spent the last 18 months on the road, without end. Sharing the open road with him has been Adam’s Chihuahua Scooter, who has been his furry co-pilot and faithful companion for the entire journey. Scooter has a namesake in Adam’s effort to raise awareness on behalf of wounded veterans: ScootinAmerica.
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 9, 2016) – Decommissioned and restored to its World War II destroyer escort structure, the USS Slater serves a new mission as a National Historic Landmark, recently taking aboard wounded veterans from this generation, including their caregivers, and families during a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni event. The USS Slater is the last of its kind still afloat in the United States, and its war history serves as a flagship of honor for military service members across the country.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (May 4, 2016) – Injured veterans made a mad dash through the downtown streets of Anchorage, Alaska at the 2016 Running of the Reindeer race during the world famous, 10th annual Fur Rondy festival. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni and family support members were among more than 1,300 people who gathered from around the world to run, skip, jump, and dance with reindeer to help raise funds for Toys for Tots.
“My wife and I were excited for this event,” said Aaron Velvick, U.S. Army veteran and WWP Alumnus. “She was very excited because she’s from South America where she didn’t get to see snow, let alone reindeer,” he joked.