PENSACOLA, Fla., July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) gathering, veterans met at a local theater and witnessed the cross-country journey of Daniel J. Egbert and Doc King, chronicled in the documentary "Project 22."
The title of the film stems from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research analysis that indicated 22 combat veterans commit suicide each day in the United States. (This number was recently adjusted to 20.) During the documentary, Daniel and Doc speak with veterans, mental health professionals, and educators about the topics of suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
In addition to the 35 warriors and their guests, representatives from the U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) Care Coalition, Air Force Special Operations Preservation of the Force, and Family Program offices attended the event.
These small, community-based groups are designed for warriors who want to connect with one another, discuss personal challenges, and lend support. These groups and WWP programs can lead to new friendships, provide a renewed sense of community, strengthen bonds through shared experiences, and introduce new solutions to challenges. Leading these groups are volunteer veterans who have experienced similar struggles and have progressed in their healing to a point where they are now able to help others – thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying the other.
Together, the group watched – and was moved by – the film.
"The documentary really hit home," said wounded warrior Matthew Rumple. "It opened some old wounds, but it reminded me of why we need battle buddies after we get out. I could relate to 99 percent of their issues and comments, so I was fully engaged in the movie from beginning to end."
As participants watched the film, many revisited their own traumatic experiences in combat. Being able to revisit these memories in a safe environment can be extremely beneficial to those dealing with PTSD. Experiences like this are similar to prolonged exposure therapy, which, according to the VA, is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.
Another warrior, Paulina Mendez echoed Rumple's sentiments about the movie.
"I love how raw it is, and how it's not afraid to take you to a place where you can actually feel and identify with the stories that are being told," she said. "I loved how it centered on a cross-country motorcycle journey. It reminds me of the journey that we as veterans take coming home – and that we don't make that journey alone."
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.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project