PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., April 20, 2017 -- Whirling sounds and flashing lights of electronic games along with the uncontrolled laughter of children of all ages served as a perfect backdrop for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) families to connect during a recent afternoon at an arcade.
More than 100 veterans and their families learned about WWP programs and services, including warrior-to-warrior support, before embarking on an afternoon of playing games.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 19, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) offers intense multi-day mental health workshops for veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These help warriors and their families maintain healthy, meaningful relationships while pursuing life goals – free from the stigmas associated with mental health issues.
"Combat takes a lot from veterans, but with the Wounded Warrior Project workshop, I've learned coping skills for everyday situations to help me be whole again," said John Bates, retired U.S. Army veteran. "WWP has given me more than I could have imagined in a short timeframe."
OKLAHOMA CITY, April 19, 2017 -- A recent two-hour hike through the Martin Park Nature Center connected veterans with one another and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in a springtime setting – far from the hustle of everyday life.
Army veteran Melissa Dunn-Mathes and WWP organized the 2.5-mile hike, and it quickly turned into something more significant than a walk through the woods.
"It was awesome to get outside and away from everyday life so we could focus on new experiences," Melissa said. "More than anything else, the camaraderie of it all was empowering."
SAN ANTONIO, April 18, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) announced today that USAA® (United Services Automobile Association) will be the Presenting Sponsor of the 11th annual Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner®. At this gala, WWP's most passionate supporters will be recognized for their service and dedication to WWP's mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The event, which will take place on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Hilton Midtown in New York City, fuels the critical support necessary for WWP to offer warriors a range of specialized programs and services – all tailored to each veteran's specific needs – free of charge.
The Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner will feature three special awards: a "Service" award honoring a corporate partner who has dedicated time to grassroots efforts in support of WWP; an "Empowerment" award to an individual or company who has dedicated their time to raising awareness for the needs of the wounded; and a "Courage" award to a warrior, family or caregiver who embodies the values of WWP. Throughout the evening, warriors served by WWP will also be honored.
ALPHARETTA, Ga., April 18, 2017 -- Publix recently hosted Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans for a healthy cooking class. As warriors learned to substitute healthy ingredients in home-cooked meals without compromising flavor, they experienced the benefits of getting out of the house and connecting with fellow service members.
Instructors showed wounded warriors and guests how to lower calorie count, fat content, and sodium levels in their favorite dishes, encouraging them to overhaul their diets without feeling apprehensive. The hands-on lesson was part of WWP's Physical Health and Wellness program, which is designed to reduce stress and promote healthy and active lifestyles for warriors and family members.
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2017 -- Backpacking in the wilderness and maintaining your bicycle are activities that require a certain level of preparation and technique. That's why Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently teamed up with outdoor retailer REI to host an afternoon class on how master these activities.
Like many others at the event, Army veteran Stephanie Hornedo was a newcomer to backpacking.
"I have done some beginner hikes, but nothing requiring the equipment or tools that REI was demonstrating," Stephanie said. "That was really interesting to see – what I thought was essential for a hike was way different from what the professionals say is essential."
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn., April 12, 2017 -- While progress has been made in raising awareness of veteran suicide, the sad truth is that some dealing with the visible and invisible wounds of war still choose to end their lives. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently teamed up with the Minnesota Army National Guard to host an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course for injured veterans and service members. The training provided useful lifesaving skills, and it was an opportunity for warriors to connect and discuss a stark military issue.
Participants took part in an immersive, two-day interactive workshop on suicide first aid. ASIST – a program widely used by healthcare providers – teaches people to recognize the first signs of suicidal thoughts or actions and to create a plan with at-risk individuals to ensure their immediate safety.
TAMPA, Fla., April 11, 2017 -- Making the transition from the military to a civilian career can be challenging. Skills honed during service to our country do not immediately translate to skills sought out by many employers. But they should. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) works with veterans directly to ensure what they learned in the military extends to a meaningful career.
Marine Corps veteran Stephen Pearson attended a recent WWP program event in Tampa to connect with potential employers.
"Wounded Warrior Project had so many companies available to answer our questions, including some we never thought to ask," Stephen said. "Each and every company representative shared insight on what to do and what not to do while pursuing employment."
PITTSBURGH, April 10, 2017 -- Unique ways to get moving and stay in shape might not always come naturally. But at a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) physical health and wellness event, warriors used a workout tool familiar to many in the military: sandbags.
"On one of my first coaching calls with a Wounded Warrior Project staff member, I brought up how useful I found these sandbags to be," said Army veteran Stephen Tyson. "At first, I was looking for equipment that would allow me to get a good workout at home. They ended up being an ideal way to do functional exercises with my injury; strength and conditioning are what I need the most. So when I saw Wounded Warrior Project offering a sandbag class, I was excited to get more exposure and insight on new techniques."
HONOLULU, April 10, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans recently connected with one another during a friendly dinner. As they got their fill of brisket, porchetta, and pig head, warriors experienced firsthand what is possible at social events that get them out of the house to engage with fellow service members.
Participants enjoyed the family-style meal, and to get the social interaction flowing, warriors and guests played a round of "What's the craziest thing you've ever eaten?" and shared branches of service.