ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 15, 2018 -- Injured veterans and their guests hiked the trails of Quiet Waters Park for relaxation, rejuvenation, and camaraderie with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
"There was no rush and the walk wasn't too hard, which helped me relax," said Marine Corps veteran John Lavery. "It reminded me of times where I spent many peaceful hours with nature and old friends."
WWP program events like this give wounded warriors an opportunity to experience veteran peer support firsthand. These social gatherings help to get them out of the house and connect them with fellow service members and their communities.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 14, 2018 -- Thirty-six injured veterans with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) made it to the Flight 93 National Memorial on day six of their cross-country journey to raise awareness for veteran issues. Soldier Ride Across America commemorates the 15-year anniversary of Long Island native and veteran supporter Chris Carney's historic coast-to-coast cycling venture in support of wounded warriors, which spurred the creation of WWP's Soldier Ride® program.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 14, 2018 -- Warriors and their families toured the Springfield Armory National Historic Site during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing. This armory consistently supplied our armed forces from 1794 until 1964.
"This local landmark was something we've never had a chance to learn more about, until now," said Army veteran John Hendricks. "We loved it."
Warriors and their families learned about the history of Springfield firearms. In addition to exploring the exhibits, young visitors could obtain Junior Rangercertification or even be part of special exhibits and historical re-enactments.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2018 -- As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts with our nation's leaders, today Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Health. WWP Legislative Affairs Director Jose Ramos spoke out on the issues facing warriors and their caregivers and what might be done to mitigate some of the challenges.
"When serving these warriors, Wounded Warrior Project has often found itself advocating for the critically injured and their caregivers, while communicating with the VA and congressional staff," Ramos said. "We believe this process can be improved by co-locating a congressional representative's district staff member within a VA Medical Center. Doing so would alleviate the need for multiple trips to different locations and provide a more holistic approach to address the needs of the most critically injured."
DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 13, 2018 -- Injured veterans and their families enjoyed laughter, good company, and bowling during a gathering with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
"I love connecting with other warriors and their families," said National Guard veteran Matthew Cowie. "The best part was meeting new people and talking with each other. We have a strong and reliable group of warriors. It's been as close as I can get to the feeling of camaraderie I had when I served."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 12, 2018 -- Starting this week, Papa John's® stores throughout the Southeast U.S. are teaming with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to support injured veterans through sales of a special combo deal – 2 large 2-topping pizzas and a 2-liter Pepsi for $22.22. Between Sept. 11 and Nov. 12, Papa John's will donate $2.22 for every WWP Combo sold at participating locations on papajohns.com.
"Warriors never pay a penny for our programs and services because they paid their dues on the battlefield," said Gary Corless, WWP chief development officer. "The generosity of our donors and partners like Papa John's help ensure wounded veterans are able to achieve their highest ambitions."
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2018 -- Soldier Ride Across America marks 15 years of journeys to recovery, transformations, and new connections made on the road. Before the bicycle spokes start turning, a safety net opens to support riders through every mile of the journey.
Soldier Ride Across America is not a competition. In fact, it's known as a "no drop ride," because no one is left behind.
"We want to ensure warriors' success by helping them prepare both physically and mentally," said Adam Faine, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride®manager.
NEW LONDON, Conn., Sept. 10, 2018 -- Injured warriors received their scuba diving certifications and connected with other veterans during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) three-day class at the U.S Coast Guard Academy.
"I love the ocean, and I enjoyed hanging out and talking to other veterans about their experiences in the military," said Air National Guard veteran Thomas Haughey. "Everybody was patient and helped each other, especially during the in-water sessions."
The scuba course covered the fundamentals of diving in the classroom, and warriors got to practice what they learned during dives in a pool each day.
OGLESBY, Ill., Sept. 9, 2018 -- Warriors and their guests donned their hiking gear and hit the rugged trails of Starved Rock State Park during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing.
"This was something that both my wife and I have always wanted to try," said Army veteran Marcia Falls. "Hiking was on our bucket list. It was very exciting and invigorating."
WWP program gatherings offer settings that provide opportunities for injured veterans to form bonds with one another, their families, and their communities.
PHOENIX, Sept. 8, 2018 -- Injured veterans helped supply hygiene kits to homeless veterans in public shelters during a distribution drive with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). They worked together with 22 Until None, which is dedicated to ending veteran suicide.
"I am always looking for ways to volunteer and help out my local community," said Rocio Vidal. "As an Air Force veteran, I know we face unique challenges outside of our service and volunteering my time to 22 Until None and Wounded Warrior Project was very close to my heart. I bring my 9-year-old daughter to events like this, so she can understand how important it is to help others."