Des Moines, Iowa (Feb. 6, 2017) – Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye make learning about science look like tremendous fun. But what’s better than reigniting childlike wonder by exploring electricity, nature, and physics? Warriors and families who attended a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connection event enjoyed hands-on activities when they spent the day at the Science Center of Iowa and learned about WWP programs.
National Guard veteran Daniel Bittner said: “Taking my kids out to something entertaining and not feeling like all I can think about is my anxiety was valuable. I am grateful for this opportunity to connect with my wife and children. Thanks, Wounded Warrior Project.”
Connection events allow warriors and families to experience firsthand what is possible when they reduce isolation and bond with fellow wounded veterans. Warriors and families viewed exhibits at their pace, with the facility to themselves. Not standing in lines with large crowds reduced anxiety for warriors.
“I never would have thought this hidden gem would make me and my kids so happy. There was so much to do, but having the place to ourselves allowed me to feel comfortable,” said Army veteran Joe Lawyer. “I haven’t been this happy in a long time.”
Army Reserve veteran Steven Olsen agreed: “My kids loved going to the Science Center, and we felt like VIPs. We had a great time hanging out with other Wounded Warrior Project families.”
Warriors experienced the unexpected benefit of seeing exactly how intelligent their children are. Steven added proudly: “I learned my kids are way smarter than me. I would ask them a question about something I read, and they already knew the answer.”
Guests worked at interactive learning stations while rediscovering the thrill of science alongside their children for an unforgettable connection experience. Classics like the electrifying Van de Graaff generator – known for providing a “hair-raising” experience – and newer exhibits like the Chair of Nails and Tornado Tubes fascinated guests and reawakened their curiosities.
Along with recreating unique military bonds, family unity is central to WWP social gatherings – and it is a main highlight for participants.
Joe’s wife, Tiffany, said: “As a wife, attending these events means connecting with other spouses, having others to turn to when I have questions, and connecting with Wounded Warrior Project families in our area. We get to take our family to experience things that we otherwise wouldn't have the funds to do. I get to watch my husband find other veterans he can confide in when he doesn’t want to burden me. WWP is so much more than an acronym for an organization. It is a family.”
“Through Wounded Warrior Project events, we have been able to spend quality time together, build our bond as a family, create life-long memories, and even meet new friends with similar life experiences,” said Daniel’s wife, Sonya. “I can't say enough about Wounded Warrior Project and what it has done for our family.”
The 2016 WWP Annual Warrior Survey highlights the importance of connection at WWP outreach events. These settings support the long-term recovery of warriors with physical injuries and social anxieties. For photos from this event, click on multimedia, then images.
Contact: Lazjee’ C. Lyles – Public Relations Coordinator
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.