WASHINGTON, March 29, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) submitted an official statement for the record to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health in response to H.R. 918, the Veterans Urgent Access to Mental Health Care Act. WWP is urging the Subcommittee to prioritize the mental health care needs of veterans with "bad paper discharge" and take time to fully address the challenges at hand.
In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, just more than three out of four (76.7 percent) wounded veterans who responded to the survey expressed they live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 40.6 percent reported they live with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Among veterans who use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care, approximately 23 percent reported sexual assault while in the military. Often, behavioral issues are what precede the diagnosis of these injuries and traumas.
MCALLEN, Texas, March 29, 2017 -- Local Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Peer Support Group veterans teamed up with Operation Supply Drop to increase warrior support in McAllen by incorporating a popular pastime among veterans. Through this collaboration, warriors received video game care packages, which will virtually connect them on their paths to recovery. The packages included gaming consoles, controllers, and video games.
"Operation Supply Drop's equipment donation is significant for veterans who don't have much to do in their small towns," said Issac Acosta, WWP Peer Support Group leader and U.S. Army veteran. "As more warriors come together, it will create a larger, stronger support network."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 28, 2017 -- With more than 2.4 million service members having deployed as part of the Global War on Terrorism, the number of warriors returning home with invisible injuries is staggering at an estimated 400,000. Those living with invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), tend to isolate themselves to avoid triggers. But seclusion only heightens the issues, leading to feelings of defeat, destruction, and destitution – all of which obstruct the road to recovery.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently launched one of its highly popular pilot programs, WWP Talk. It serves as a mental health support line that is an invaluable, non-clinical form of emotional support for warriors, family members, and caregivers.
SAN ANTONIO, March 27, 2017 -- Local grocer H-E-B recently opened the doors of its culinary center and cooking school to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans for a healthy cooking class. As warriors learned to create nutritious home-cooked meals without compromising flavor, they experienced the benefits of getting out of the house and connecting with fellow service members.
With cookout season on the horizon, experienced chefs taught warriors and guests a health-conscious spin on barbecue. Veterans learned preparation techniques for lean meats and vegetables. For dessert, the class prepared grilled pineapple with homemade ice cream. 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.
SAN ANTONIO, March 27, 2017 -- Veterans with service-related health issues were recently invited to a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Benefits Claims Day. This innovative gathering helps warriors quickly obtain needed care by placing them face-to-face with a WWP staff member and a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) representative, who directly impacts the outcome of medical claims.
With long-term financial and health support playing a critical, empowering role in the recovery process, WWP's Benefits Service program helps injured veterans navigate the complexities of the Department of Defense and VA. With the support of generous donors, WWP reaches out to local communities, filing thousands of claims each year and immediately changing the lives of injured veterans, their families, and caregivers.
TAMPA, Fla., March 27, 2017 -- First, a line of bright green streaked across a field of white. A darker shade of green followed, and next, a dark shade of blue. Brush strokes connected the colors and stretched them to the other side of the canvas, creating a patch of grass that started a special St. Patrick's Day-themed painting.
Wounded warrior Andrew Larocca and artist Craig Todd worked together as this masterpiece took shape during art therapy at the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) office in Tampa recently. When the pair finished, they showed off the painting featuring the American flag over a green, grassy field with shamrocks. And for the warriors, there are therapeutic benefits.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 24, 2017 -- You've probably seen it on TV – a group of veterans on bicycles wearing matching gear, as people filling sidewalks wave American flags and cheer as they ride past. What you may not know is that Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride® isn't just a nice show of appreciation for our nation's injured veterans; it's about getting warriors on a long-term path to recovery.
ARLINGTON, Texas, March 24, 2017 -- A new season of Major League Baseball is just around the corner, and nearly 50,000 Texans will once again call Globe Life Park their home away from home. But it was Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans who recently received a behind-the-scenes tour.
While they explored the home of the Texas Rangers, warriors reaped the benefits of connecting with their fellow service members. Warriors and guests learned about the stadium's history as they were led through the inner workings of the facility.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 22, 2017 -- With long-term financial and health support playing a critical, empowering role in the recovery process, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) created the Benefits Service program, helping injured veterans navigate the complexities of the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA). With the support of generous donors, WWP files thousands of claims each year, immediately changing lives of injured veterans, their families, and caregivers.
As a VA-accredited organization with an approval rating above 90 percent for benefits claims filed in fiscal year 2016, WWP works individually with warriors to understand their unique needs, provide education on the claims process, advise them of benefit options, file benefit claims, and help obtain necessary evidence.
WASHINGTON, March 21, 2017 -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) continues to enhance its board of directors with the addition of Cari DeSantis, President and CEO of Melwood®. DeSantis becomes the ninth member of the board of directors – all of whom bring strong backgrounds in sectors including business, nonprofit, government, military, and education.
DeSantis joined Melwood in 2013 and has grown the organization to now employ 1,600 people in Washington, DC and Maryland. The nonprofit provides opportunities and jobs to people with differing abilities, including wounded warriors. Melwood supports children, youth, and adults working and playing how they choose.