BEDFORD, Mass., Sept. 7, 2017 -- To celebrate the start of the 2017 NFL season Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), with their partners the NFL and USAA®, hosted a military appreciation event for wounded veterans at Hanscom Air Force Base. Throughout the day, warriors and Airmen from the base enjoyed flag football, dinner, and special appearances by NFL Legend TONY RICHARDSON and New England Patriots cheerleaders. Events like this not only allow warriors to experience a unique event firsthand but also form relationships with local veterans like them.
"The NFL has supported and honored our military for years, and all of us at Wounded Warrior Project are extremely grateful for their continued support of our mission," said Gary Corless, WWP chief development officer. "Wounded Warrior Project connects warriors with one another, their families, and communities, and serves warriors through life-saving programs and services targeting mental and physical health, career and benefits counseling, and support for the most severely wounded. We are proud to offer that free of charge, and that's only possible because of the generosity of our donors, and partners like the NFL and USAA."
TULSA, Okla., Sept. 7, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) relies on the support of donors, including individual supporters, corporate partners, and even groups of students. Some of those supporters even go on challenging adventures to raise awareness for WWP. Recently, Craig Clements and his two dogs began a cross-country journey on foot.
"My mother passed away 30 years ago from colon cancer," he explained. "Her father was a captain under General Patton and was injured severely in the Battle of the Bulge. But as many in that generation did, he returned home to make and rebuild America. Never once did I ever see him complain. He was my role model and was as close to a John Wayne figure as you could meet. I promised my mom that one day I would undertake something to honor my family's long history of war veterans from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts."
Craig said he always admired how WWP serves warriors, and he wanted to give back to them.
BERLIN, N.H., Sept. 6, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is able to provide its programs to the warriors it serves because of the support of donors, including individual supporters, corporate partners, and even groups of students. Raising awareness at the local level can make a big difference for WWP, something that Coach Corey Riendeau and his youth hockey team have started to put into practice.
"Our players recently began supporting Wounded Warrior Project," Corey said. "I've also discussed supporting Wounded Warrior Project with other coaches of the Nor'Easter Hockey organization, and it sounds like they want to help as well."
Corey showed the WWP flag to the players he coaches, who are all 14 years old or younger, as a way to inspire them, but also to teach them about how WWP serves wounded veterans. Corey himself is connected to WWP through family.
EAST SETAUKET, N.Y., Sept. 6, 2017 -- Raising awareness at the local level can make a big difference for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). That support allows WWP to provide its programs free of charge to the warriors it serves. And that support comes from individual supporters, corporate partners, and even groups of students. Recently, the entire 6th grade class of Arrowhead Elementary School showed its support for WWP.
"Our grade level teachers talked about doing an annual fundraiser, and we decided we wanted to help military personnel because of the sacrifices they have made for our country," said Dan Walsh, one of the 6th grade teachers. "As we researched, we were impressed with Wounded Warrior Project and their mission. We knew that was who we wanted to support."
Dan's father and father-in-law both served in the Navy, with his father-in-law serving during World War II. While they were never able to directly benefit from the programs and services that WWP offers, Dan saw a chance to show how it benefits others.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Each week, hundreds of injured veterans from more than 40 Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veteran peer support groups across the country meet and participate in activities ranging from group support meetings to community service projects. While their military service has ended, their commitment to service remains – and so they delve deep into their communities and local charities.
Reconnecting warriors to one another in the civilian world is critical to healing, which is why WWP serves them through its Peer Support program by fusing supportive rehabilitation with the military adage “Leave No Man Behind.” This warrior-to-warrior support is a special type of therapy that reintroduces injured veterans to the unique bonds experienced during military service.
“I always enjoy volunteering in my community,” said TeakSafiya Wilson, U.S. Army National Guard injured veteran and WWP Peer Support participant from Atlanta, Georgia. "But doing it with fellow service members makes the experience more rewarding and is just a great way to keep us involved in the community."
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 5, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) adds military and business experience to its board of directors with the appointment of Kathleen Widmer, a President at Johnson & Johnson, and West Point Graduate.
Widmer becomes WWP's tenth board member. Her background includes nearly 25 years with Johnson & Johnson. She has served as President of Johnson & Johnson Consumer, OTC Division since 2015. That division makes over the counter drugs like Tylenol©, Sudafed©, Motrin©, and Benadryl©. Widmer graduated from West Point in 1983 and served five years in the U.S. Army. Widmer holds a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Marketing Management from Oklahoma City University.
"We're excited Kathleen Widmer is able to bring her passion for the military to our board of directors," said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. "Dating back to the Spanish-American War, Johnson & Johnson has shown a commitment to the veteran community. Kathleen's growth through that organization will help us as we continue evolving to best serve this generation of wounded warriors."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 31, 2017 -- The donors who support Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and its mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors come from all walks of life. Recently, 44 video game enthusiasts gathered for a marathon streaming session to raise awareness and funds for WWP, playing the widely popular game "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds." Connor Hervey, a member of the BOTEmpire gaming team, organized the event.
"We decided to get involved in charity work recently because we thought since we have built this platform, why not use it for the betterment of others instead of just ourselves?" Connor said. "There's no better feeling than helping those who need it, especially with a great cause like Wounded Warrior Project."
Connor has a few relatives who served in the military, such as his grandpa, who was an Army veteran and helicopter mechanic. However, it was his close friendship with some WWP staff that first inspired him to learn more about the organization.
CINCINNATI, Aug. 29, 2017 -- Baseball is more than just America's pastime – it's a long-standing tradition of coming together to enjoy a relaxing day of sports, fellowship, and fun. For the Cincinnati Reds™, it's also a chance to give back to the injured veterans served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). The team donated tickets to wounded warriors so they could see the Reds in action at the Great American Ball Park.
Zach Bruton, a Marine Corps veteran and wounded warrior, recently attended a Reds game. He had been to many WWP events before, where he connected with other veterans like him – but this was one of his favorites.
"I've participated in many of the other Wounded Warrior Project events such as the push-up challenge, building a better workout, and some of the other physical health and wellness events," Zach said.
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 29, 2017 -- Recently, the Rochester Rhinos and the Harrisburg City Islanders hosted their inaugural Capelli Sport Hero Cup, supporting Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). The cup was awarded to the Rhinos for their 1-0 victory over the Islanders.
Warriors served by WWP came together at the game for a night of camaraderie and 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.
"At this soccer game, I met another warrior who I was with for two months in the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in their post-traumatic stress disorder program," said Stephen Moyer, an Army veteran and wounded warrior. "It was good to talk to him again. Although neither of us remembered each other's names at first, we remembered the faces.
PHOENIX, Aug. 22, 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 thought the workshop was just an opportunity to hang out with other veterans," said George Almasan, U.S. Army veteran from Glendale, Arizona. "But I quickly learned that throughout the entire week, we were all receiving extremely helpful tools for coping with our invisible injuries – these injuries are impacting my life. It's hard to find a solution or a way to cope with mental wounds."
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.