ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Injured veterans and their family support members hang loose during a recent stand up paddleboarding (SUP) hosted by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Uban Kai at a waterfront paradise called the Getaway in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"This was my first event with Wounded Warrior Project," said 2nd Lt. Brian Buskirk, U.S. Army National Guard officer and WWP Alumnus, who participated in the event with his wife and caregiver, Tera Buskirk. "The instructor was great, but it was good to chat with others like me. I feel like they understood me."
This event was offered as part of the WWP Alumni program, which provides long-term support and camaraderie for wounded veterans through sporting events, outdoor and recreational activities, and educational sessions. During these events, WWP staff is able to interact with attendees, informing them of the 20 free programs and services that directly impact wounded service members, their families, and caregivers.
Brain deployed four times to Afghanistan and worked closely with Special Forces in support of the Global War on Terrorism. This Alumni event had a different mission than the one overseas; it was focused on healing, engaging, and empowering.
At this specific event, attendees received a brief on the Benefits Service program, which helps injured veterans navigate the complexities of the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to obtain the care they need. With a success rate above 85 percent, WWP reaches into local communities through a variety of events, filing thousands of claims each year, and immediately changing the lives of injured veterans, their families, and caregivers. For more information, go to: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/benefits-service.aspx.
After the initial program brief, injured veterans and their families received a history of the SUP sport, before being assigned a board and learning techniques. Once participants were comfortable, they were ready for their session—known as a "sesh" in SUP lingo—gliding on the water.
"I learned to work through my fear of dark water," said Brian. "It took me 45 minutes to build the courage to get in the water, but I saw my wife having fun and wanted her to know I appreciated her signing us up. I'm glad she did!"
Brian and Tera are among more than 100,000 injured warriors of this generation, along with their families and caregivers, receiving comprehensive services that help with physical rehabilitation, aid in their mental and emotional recovery, assist them to achieve their educational and employment goals, and help them maintain their independence, staying connected with their families, their communities, and each other.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The WWP purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project