CHANDLER, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2016 -- During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event at Rawhide Western Town in Chandler, Arizona, a group of injured veterans joined Rally Point Arizona for a 5K run to honor fellow service members. As participants ran and volunteered, they experienced what is possible at social gatherings that connect them with other wounded warriors and family members.
Marine veteran Janelle Happersett was happy to be a part of something that honored the nation's veterans – an experience made all the better with the support of family.
"Wounded Warrior Project gives me a healing outlet by providing situations that bring veterans together socially," she said. "We get to meet people to support us on our journey. These activities allow families to spend time together outside of the house, creating memories and forming new bonds."
LINCOLN, Neb., Dec. 20, 2016 -- The afternoon air might have been chilly, but that did not stop a group of injured veterans from venturing to Memorial Stadium with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to see the Cornhuskers take on the Maryland Terrapins. Warriors and family members enjoyed the game and the chance to spend time with fellow veterans. WWP outreach events provide opportunities for socialization – in environments that accommodate physical injuries and social anxieties.
More than 50 warriors and guests showed up ready to cheer for the Big Red. With grouped seating, they were able to watch the game while connecting with old friends and forming bonds with new ones. The lively atmosphere was amplified when the Cornhuskers routed the Terrapins with a final score of 28-7.
HAYS, Kan., Dec. 20, 2016 -- At a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outreach event, wounded veterans dusted off their trap shooting skills, firing into clay pigeons and targets during a competition. The full day of activities gave participants the opportunity to connect with fellow warriors – as well as their local community.
The day began with a safety briefing, and soon after, the contest began in earnest as warriors went up against shooters from a local college. After the competition, warriors went to another part of the shooting range where they were able to test their newfound skills in a variety of courses.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 19, 2016 -- More than 30 wounded warriors attended a two-day, 30-mile Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride® in the River City recently. Soldier Ride is more than just a bicycling event – for many warriors, the ride is the first time they venture outside their homes to connect with their communities. As such, Soldier Ride has often served injured veterans by introducing them to WWP's long-term health and wellness programs, which include physical training, outdoor events, and nutrition classes.
"I've seen Wounded Warrior Project change lives, and I've seen how it has improved my marriage," said Durrant Spencer, a U.S. Navy wounded warrior from Jacksonville, Florida. "Wounded Warrior Project sticks with its mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. I see what it does. I see the changes it makes – it has done it in my life, it's done it in my friends' lives, and it can do it in the next warrior's life."
CLEVELAND, Dec. 16, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently teamed up with OhioMeansVeteranJobs.com and the Cuyahoga Veterans Service Commission to provide career opportunities for hundreds of Ohio warriors.
Dozens of companies gathered at Quicken Loans® Arena for the Veterans Career Expo. They talked with warriors interested in careers in finance, healthcare, staffing, and many other industries.
"The prospective employers were very personable, and the veterans service organizations were really helpful," said Army veteran Dylan Smith. "The Department of Veterans Affairs even had a table to sign up veterans for health care on the spot."
frequently with his wife Vicky until a traumatic brain injury turned his life upside down.
After retiring from service, John started a career as a civilian safety officer. While working in the sweltering summer heat, John fell from a vehicle, landing on concrete eight feet below. John fractured his collarbone and slammed his head on the pavement. The impact caused a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and bleeding on his brain. As his brain swelled, doctors decided to remove a portion of his skull. They kept that part in a special freezer for 10 weeks while they waited for the swelling to subside.
NAPLES, Fla., Dec. 14, 2016 -- The sunshine state is home to an incredible legacy of golf – and to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). During LPGA's season ending 2016 CME Group Tour Championship, warriors served by WWP had the chance to work on the 18th hole as flag tenders, while many more watched and cheered from the gallery.
"It was beautiful when I arrived," said Jessica Lynn Daubenmire, Air Force veteran and wounded warrior. "There were clear skies and a minor chill – perfect fall weather. One by one, the pros would come up to the hole I was working. A few of them signed autographs and even gave some of us mementos like golf gloves, club covers, or signed golf balls."
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 13, 2016 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) took a group of veterans and their families to tour the football facilities at Florida State University (FSU) recently. The warriors and families visited the trophy room, the locker room, and the field. They had opportunities to bond with one another and forge friendships similar to those formed in the military, and they even met with Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher.
"He was just as humbled to meet us as we were him," said National Guard veteran Brad Downey. "He was very genuine – as you would imagine – and very gracious to everyone from Wounded Warrior Project and their guests. For him to take that brief moment with us before a game is just an example of what a great person he truly is."
CARMEL, Ind., Dec. 12, 2016 -- Date nights do not always have to include dinner and a movie, as a group of injured veterans and guests learned during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program event. During the Paint with Your Mate Date Night, participants spent the evening learning to paint unique masterpieces with step-by-step guidance from an experienced art instructor. As they honed their talents, they connected with their plus-ones as well as fellow wounded warriors.
Army National Guard veteran Chris Tucker said the outing was a welcome getaway for him and his wife, Nikki.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 12, 2016 -- The spirit of Thanksgiving is one of togetherness, delicious food, and recognizing the good things we have in our lives. Many local warriors and their families were able to experience that at a recent dinner hosted Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Christ's Church.
For Jason Cullum, lead pastor at Christ's Church, the program event was about giving back to those who had given so much to their communities.
"We wanted to do our best to honor the active duty service members and veterans here at home too," Jason said. "We thought it would be a great opportunity to love on them – and just be a family together during this time of the season."