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Wounded Veterans Learn About Sea Life

Veterans and Families Tour Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

GULFPORT, Miss. (August 6, 2015) – Injured service members and their families recently enjoyed a handsF on, and educational experience at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi. 

Wounded Warrior Project ® (WWP) brought the group to the Institute June 30 as part of its Alumni program. Through shared experiences, WWP hopes to help injured service members become more engaged  in their community and with other veterans. The Alumni program provides longFterm support and  camaraderie for wounded warriors through events, discounted services, and an online community. 

While at the Institute, veterans and their families had the opportunity to touch an alligator, starfish and  stingrays, while learning about the mission of the facility. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies helps  sick and injured marine mammals heal, educates the public, researches marine life, and assists in  conservation efforts. 

Dwight Blackman took his family along for the experience. He says the Institute staff made the day special,  with the handsFon approach being an aspect his family really enjoyed. “Our children enjoyed the interaction  with the animals they were allowed to touch and pet,” Blackman said.  “We all learned many new facts about  turtles, snakes, starfish, and birds.”

The families also enjoyed watching dolphins and a sea lion work with trainers in outdoor tanks.   “It was interesting to learn how the sea lions are rescue animals who most likely would have died if not  rescued by the Institute,” Blackman said. 

The gathering also gave wounded veterans an opportunity to learn about the other free programs and  services provided by WWP.

 “Getting together with my fellow Wounded Warriors helps me know I am not alone in my struggle with  post-traumatic stress disorder, that I have many brothers by my side,” Blackman said.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Wounded Warrior Project, contact the WWP  Resource Center at 888.WWP.ALUM (888.997.2586) or 

Contact: Rob Louis – Public Relations Specialist
Phone: 904.627.0432

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's 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

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