QUEENSTOWN, Pa., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni experienced first-hand what is possible when injured veterans are exposed to programs and services that both honor and empower during a recent pheasant hunt Alumni event in Queenstown, Pa.
Peer support plays an important role in the healing process as it allows individuals to build relationships based on shared experiences. Past and present experiences both play a critical role in bringing forth the change-in-mindset injured veterans must adopt to successfully transition to civilian life.
"The timing worked out perfectly," said WWP Alumnus Vince Birtel, who recently underwent surgery and was looking for ways to stay active to help his physical strength and endurance. "It would have been hard to accomplish this by myself, but having other veterans with the same mindset there to encourage me made it much easier. The excitement helped me forget the pain for awhile."
WWP teamed up with Queenstown Hunt Club to provide injured service members with a weekend focused on hunting. The two-day experience, which involved skeet shooting lessons and a pheasant hunt, is an example of the variety of WWP events offered nationwide and abroad. These events help to build a peer-support structure that is instrumental in an injured veteran's recovery.
"Alumni events give wounded veterans a chance to network with each other," said Dan Schnock, national Alumni director for WWP. "That support plays a critical role in the recovery process as warriors realize they are not alone."
Injured veterans are not alone. As of February 2016, more than 100,000 wounded veterans, caregivers, and family members receive access to WWP programs and services, all of which are free of charge. The growing need for programs and services is evident.
The WWP Peer Support program is one of 20 free, direct programs and services offered to injured veterans, their families, and caregivers. The program has a goal of every injured veteran, family member, and caregiver supporting his or her fellow members in recovery, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another off the battlefield.
In February 2016 alone, more than 180 wounded veterans took part in the Peer Support program. https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/peer-support.
"The other soldiers were great people," said Vince. "I would have enjoyed spending time with them even if we just stayed in the cabin, without the hunt. Everyone went out of their way to make this the most enjoyable activity I have ever done in my life – next to my son's birth."
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