EWA BEACH, Hawaii, Feb. 14, 2017 -- A group of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans recently spent the day at Hoakalei Country Club, where they connected with fellow service members and their community. Warriors took to the links at a Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) tournament.
SMGA, a nonprofit dedicated to improving veterans' quality of life through golf programs, honored WWP warriors with a tournament on a challenging professional course. Army veteran Frank Lopez jumped at the opportunity.
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 14, 2017 -- For years, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has partnered with organizations that share its mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Recently, WWP hosted a strategy session for over 80 veterans service organizations (VSOs) to network and discuss best practices for serving wounded veterans in Texas and nationwide.
"Wounded Warrior Project understands that no single organization can solve the complex challenges that wounded veterans face," said Jennifer Silva, WWP chief program officer. "As a collective whole, however, veterans service organizations have a much stronger chance of transforming communities and supporting injured veterans by connecting warriors with services and programs that empower them to live successful lives."
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Feb. 13, 2017 -- Physical health and wellness training is only a small part of recovery for warriors returning to civilian life. At a recent fitness workshop hosted by Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), warriors learned how to overcome their physical limitations through weight lifting, plyometrics, and stretching. And for one of the veterans served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), the challenge of returning to civilian life included a social component, too.
"I was very nervous when I first arrived," said U.S. Army veteran Tifani Wood. "I didn't know anyone except the Wounded Warrior Project staff member who coordinated this event. I didn't know what I was getting into."
PITTSBURGH, Feb. 13, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently teamed with The Strength Lab at Union Fitness for a powerlifting clinic in Pittsburgh. Xtreme Powerlifting Coalition member and author Casey Williams provided hands-on coaching for warriors during the squat, deadlift, and bench press exercises.
"Since leaving the Army, my physical health deteriorated," said wounded warrior Tony Canzonieri. "A few months ago, I began working out and found myself looking and feeling better. Having never lifted weights, this event was an opportunity to gain a new skill and continue my fitness journey, working my way back to a healthy weight and mindset.
BROOKLYN, N.Y., Feb. 13, 2017 -- The New York Islanders hockey team has settled in its new home in Brooklyn, and injured veterans recently got to see them in action during a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing at Barclays Center. As warriors watched the Islanders take on the Florida Panthers, they made the most of the opportunity to connect with fellow veterans.
More than 50 warriors and guests began their evening at a popular Latin eatery, where they reconnected with old friends, made new ones, and talked about helpful programs with WWP staff members. After dinner, the group headed to the arena. The game was a close one, and while the Islanders fell 2-1, participants still enjoyed the chance to get out among their brothers and sisters in arms.
MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y., Feb. 10, 2017 -- What can be better than a smoked barbecue dinner with brisket, burnt ends, and pulled pork? Enjoying that meal with fellow veterans and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP)! Warriors and guests recently met up at Smokin' Al's Famous BBQ Joint to chow down and connect with fellow service members in their community.
"Attending gatherings like this reminds me people out there still care," said Army veteran John Abreu. "As a civilian on your own, people don't know who you are or what you did. But when I'm out with Wounded Warrior Project veterans, people around us know who we are and what we've done. They thank us for our service. It's a great feeling."
FRISCO, Texas, Feb. 10, 2017 -- Injured veterans revisited their childhoods during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connection event at the National Videogame Museum. As they toured displays and tested their skills at the arcade, warriors and guests experienced what is possible at social events that get them out of the house and connected with fellow military families.
Museum displays showcased the history of gaming from the 1970s through today. Music by Run DMC, Pat Benatar, and other artists added to the authenticity of each era's displays as warriors enjoyed sharing their pasts with their children.
COCOA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 9, 2017 -- Injured veterans and guests tested their nerves, skills, and balance during a recent Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) outing to Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures zip line and ropes course. As they made their way over high bridges and climbed rope web obstacles, participants experienced firsthand what is possible at connection events that get them out of the house and connected with fellow service members.
"Gatherings like this allow me to venture out of the house and relax – even on my worst days," said Navy veteran Katherine Diaz. "I love team-building and having the chance to connect with other veterans. Being part of Wounded Warrior Project gives me hope and shows me I matter."
HOUSTON, Feb. 8, 2017 -- During the biggest week in football, the NFL and USAA® teamed up to honor wounded veterans served by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and celebrate the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl LI.
The NFL hosted the NFL Experience Driven by Genesis – pro football's interactive theme park – where football fans enjoyed interactive games, youth football clinics, and player autograph sessions. Within the NFL Experience, USAA hosted 33 warriors at the USAA Salute to Service Lounge, an exclusive area for current and former military members and their families to enjoy complimentary food, games, and NFL player meet-and-greets.
WINCHESTER, Va., Feb. 8, 2017 -- Ten local warriors recently attended a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) mental health workshop at a mountain lodge and ski park in Pennsylvania. These gatherings are often the first time warriors leave their homes to connect with others in their communities.
"I never thought I'd do something like this," said Dave Han, 25-year retired U.S. Marine Corps officer from Winchester, Virginia. "But I chose to trust the environment because other veterans were too. We all understand and respect each other, and we were all there for a common purpose – to heal."
WWP's Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP) addresses the mental health needs of warriors returning from war. 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.