Climbing to Recovery: Warriors Attend Hiking Event in Catskills
WINDHAM, N.Y., July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recently, a group of warriors took in the beauty of New York's Catskill Mountains during a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) hiking event with the Adaptive Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes physical activity for individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities.
Ten participants accompanied two wellness coaches on 4-mile treks through the mountain wilderness where the natural elevation changes provided a healthy challenge.
It was good training for Stacy Bolton, who is trying to reacquaint herself with things she enjoyed before her deployment with the Navy.
"I signed up to climb Mount Washington in August," she said. "I turn 50 Aug. 10, and hiking Mount Washington is one of my goals. So any time I can hike, I do. I've recently gotten back into hiking with Wounded Warrior Project's help."
These hiking ventures and other WWP activities can supplement warriors' recovery process by placing them in social situations with their peers, allowing them to form relationships similar to those created during military service.
"Other than my house, I'm most comfortable at WWP events," said Butch Marquis, retired Navy. "Vets trust each other implicitly, and life is just easier when you can trust those around you. WWP gets me wanting to be active, because I know I will enjoy my time with fellow warriors."
An event with social interaction and outdoor physical activity was the perfect combination for Jenn Allen, formerly a soldier with the 101st Airborne Division, and Matthew Sherwin, former Army National Guard.
"I used to hike years ago and I know it's good for me, and I'm really trying to be healthier and lose weight," Jenn said. "Hiking with WWP brings camaraderie, which is motivating and can push me further. Just over a year ago, I was a shell of who I am now. I am so grateful to WWP for introducing me to the new me I want to become."
Matthew is grateful to know there is life after war. "There are a lot of adventures out there for us – positive adventures in nature. And to be able to do it with someone who has walked in your shoes is healing," he said.
While participating in these events, attendees spend time with WWP program specialists who can direct them to additional services that assist in recovery. The generosity of donors makes these services available to warriors at no cost to them.
"It really means a lot to me," Stacy said. "After I got out of the Navy, I felt uncared for. WWP has given me the strength to realize that is not true. I am honored to be part of an amazing organization like WWP."
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