Veterans up their "SUP" in Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's not really that difficult. You stand up on an over-sized surfboard and casually paddle along. "It was really pretty easy," says a laughing Jessika Lloyd, "until I fell off." Jessika and her husband, U.S. Army veteran Justin Lloyd, recently tried one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Nashville Paddle Company hosted the unique event.
"I had a blast," says Jessika. "That fall, as it turns out, did bust my eardrum, but I'm hooked. My husband and I will definitely SUP again."
Because of a herniated disk, Justin, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, could not stand up on the board for long. On two different occasions, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded under his truck, killing three of his comrades. "It's been tough," says Jessika, "but we have participated in a few WWP events, which give warriors a chance to get together and forget about daily stresses. It's like a date-night for us."
In addition to stand-up paddle boarding, WWP gave the warriors and their family members an opportunity to enjoy hiking and restorative yoga.
"The event gave me a little spark to keep going," says U.S. Army veteran and WWP Alumna April Jones, who took her daughter along for the ride. "We're both a little scared of the water, but we took the paddle-boarding as a challenge to conquer our fears."
April suffers from a hearing impairment, due to her time at shooting ranges in Afghanistan, and
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "The WWP events are so enjoyable and it's nice to bond with other wounded veterans. At one time, I fell off my board and, just like in the field, the other warriors came to my rescue."
WWP program staff said the SUP event was so popular, they plan to hold it again in the future. To learn more about WWP programs and activities offered to wounded veterans free of charge, visit https://goo.gl/eSXjyx.
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 https://goo.gl/QYbvpg.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project