SAN ANTONIO, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Little girls grow up so fast and fathers rarely have an opportunity to enter the world of princesses, crafts, and make believe. For military dads especially, a single casual evening can be a rare commodity in itself. It was no surprise when injured veteran dads accepted the invitation from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to make memories and escort their little princesses to the 'Tuxes and Tiaras' daddy and daughter dance.
Organized by Lifetime Fitness exclusively for its members and WWP Alumni, 63 Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni and their daughters attended this annual occasion. The WWP Alumni program is one of 20 direct programs and services offered free of charge to wounded service members, their caregivers, and families. For WWP, there is a distinct difference between members and Alumni; the term Alumni indicates a mutually shared experience and identifies your earned place in an organization.
The Alumni program creates support through shared experiences and brings injured veterans together to build camaraderie. By bonding through events and programs, wounded veterans learn they are not alone.
"I wanted to take my daughter to the dance, especially since her mother is currently stationed in Korea," Mark Foriska, WWP Alumnus said. "It was a great opportunity for my daughter and me to spend some time together."
The dance is held to celebrate the bond between a girl and her father and the importance of this relationship. For young girls, fathers can set the standards for future relationships and expectations as girls grow into women.
"She loved that I took her dress shopping, shoe shopping, jewelry shopping, and had her hair done for the event. The whole evening was special to the both of us and we were able to spend time that normally does not happen together without any distractions," Mark said.
It was truly a little girl's paradise with arts and crafts, games, dancing, and a chance to capture the special evening together with unique props and photo booths. Wounded veterans and their daughters shared a formal dinner and activity filled night to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Mark said he enjoyed the time to focus just on his daughter and them being together. The dance offered him an opportunity to show her what it's like to be treated like a lady and not a little girl.
"Since my daughter has a younger brother who spends a lot of time with me, she can sometimes feel neglected," Mark said. "I wish this event would happen more than once a year, at the end of the night she cried, and said that she was so glad that I got to spend this time with me."
Currently, more than 100,000 wounded service members, their family members, and caregivers receive support each year through free WWP programs and services encompassing pillars of body, mind, economic empowerment, and engagement.
WWP's Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP) is one of those programs and addresses the mental health and cognitive needs of warriors returning from war. CSRP provides military rehabilitation services at key stages during a warrior's readjustment process to helps wounded veterans and their families maintain healthy, meaningful relationships while pursuing life goals, free from the barriers or stigmas associated with mental health issues. In January 2016 alone, 2,157 warriors received care through WWP's mind pillar, which includes CSRP. To learn more, please visit https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/mental-wellness/veteran-ptsd-treatment-support-resources.
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 woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project