Wounded Iraqi Veteran to Fulfill Dream of “Grand Slam” Despite Severe Injuries
Jacksonville, FL (July 28, 2011) - Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) announces today their support of wounded Iraqi veteran Eric Edmundson’s journey to complete his life-long dream of a “Grand Slam.” Eric Edmundson is a retired Army Sergeant and Purple Heart recipient who suffered a traumatic and anoxic brain injury. Eric requires full-time assistance from his wife and other family members. Through the love, support and commitment of his entire family to rehabilitate Eric, he has steadily made tremendous progress. Eric can now feed himself, stand and walk with assistance and even communicate through the use of specialized electronic devices.
Wounded Warrior Project Executive Director Steve Nardizzi stated, “We know the public will be as inspired by Eric as we are and come away with the knowledge that despite the physical and neurological challenges many wounded warriors face, their passion for what they love remains strong. More than anything Eric’s story is one of perseverance. He is a symbol of the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.”
On his Grand Slam adventure, Eric will be accompanied by his father Ed, who has been by Eric’s side since his injury. The Grand Slam will consist of a 9,000 mile roundtrip hunting experience from alligator and bison to black bear and antelope. They will travel through eight states -Florida, Montana, Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho and Wyoming.
“Eric’s dreams for his life have not gone away. We have just had to modify how he can reach them,” said Ed. “We think this is an important message for anyone who may be struggling with a severe injury or illness. We hope our story will inspire those folks to change their own philosophy from ‘I can’t’, to ‘I can and I will.”
Over 44,000 service members have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Thousands of wounded warriors and caregivers receive support each year through WWP programs that are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The purpose of WWP 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.