RICHMOND, Va., April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Greek traditional meal is not only about eating food, it's about taking the time to talk and enjoy the company of family and friends. This tradition continued when a group of wounded veterans and their significant others came together for a couples Greek cooking class hosted by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
Positioned around island cooking stations, 11 couples learned the culinary skill of wrapping lamb and rice with grape leaves (Dolmades), and how to prepare other traditional Greek dishes while bonding and sharing open conversation. A few Alumni met at previous WWP events, but most were meeting each other for the first time.
"It was such a pleasant, friendly environment," said Millie Smith, U.S. Army veteran and WWP Alumna. The free programs and services offered by WWP have opened Millie's eyes to try new things during her recovery. "This class allowed me to learn new cooking techniques, and more importantly, an opportunity to share with other wounded veterans."
Many wounded service members face similar challenges adjusting to their injuries and civilian life. The WWP 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. The WWP Alumni program is one of 20 direct programs and services offered free of charge to wounded service members, their caregivers, and families.
WWP continues to encourage Millie, and she understands there are no limits to what she can accomplish. "I served 26 years in the military, and I've been to some pretty dark spots while recovering from multiple injuries," she said. "WWP has helped me understand that I am not alone. I have post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, but I don't let these define me. I continue to remind myself that I can embrace the good and let go of the bad."
Motivated by her positive experiences with WWP, Millie spends time with other Alumni to help them towards their recovery. "WWP provides tools, programs, and opportunities," she said. "Yet, wounded veterans need to know to participate and be active in creating their new normal."
During the culinary evening, Alumni and guests learned of WWP programs and services. WWP staff provided program briefs and responded to questions from the group.
Along with the Alumni engagement programs, WWP reaches out to injured service members, their caregivers, and family support members with programs dedicated to mental health, physical health and wellness, and economic empowerment.
WWP's Combat Stress Recovery Program (CSRP) addresses the mental health and cognitive needs of wounded servicemen and women returning from war, providing military rehabilitation services at key stages during a warrior's readjustment process. This program enables wounded veterans and their families to maintain healthy, meaningful relationships while pursuing life goals, free from the barriers or stigmas associated with mental health issues.
During March alone, Wounded Warrior Project served 29,573 wounded veterans through one or more of the WWP program pillars of body, mind, economic empowerment, and engagement. Learn more at https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs.
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