DELAWARE, Ohio, July 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Like many who served and sacrificed for their nation, United States Army veteran Brandon Klopfenstein loves to shoot. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently hosted a day of trap shooting for Brandon and dozens of other wounded veterans, where many were able to recapture a spirit of unity and purpose that is unique among those who served their country.
"Right from the start of the event, we felt welcomed," Brandon said. "First-timers to Wounded Warrior Project programs or people who had been to several – it didn't matter. The staff knew our names, what we were struggling with, and what we needed. It's something I've come to expect now."
After a safety briefing and explanation of the day's schedule, which, according to Brandon, included a great meal, the warriors got set up at the range. Many of the wounded veterans had backgrounds with several different branches of service – a friendly rivalry with lots of good-natured trash-talking was inevitable. Split up into teams, these men and women engaged in a game of "bowling." Going from station to station, each shooter was required to shoot clay targets in rapid succession, after they were launched into the air by the range staff.
"The winners walked away with bragging rights, but we all had a great time," Brandon explained. "Everyone got along great, and many people exchanged numbers. There were a bunch of warriors in my area that I hadn't met before, including one who only lives 10 minutes away from me."
One of the major struggles many wounded veterans face upon their return to civilian life is isolation. WWP recognizes that no one should face the road to recovery alone. That's why for over a decade, the events and activities hosted by WWP have taken recovering warriors out of their isolation and helped them get re-engaged in their communities. Warriors can not only learn more about the free programs and services available to them, but also connect with their fellow service members, who understand each other's experiences, leading to life-changing bonds and support systems.
"Before I got connected with Wounded Warrior Project, I was basically a hermit crab, and my house was my shell – I would not come out for anything," Brandon said. "I attended my first WWP program event in Columbus, and as soon as I arrived, I knew this was going to be different. The other warriors that were there were just like me: lost, nervous, and wanting to make a change. I had an amazing time, and weeks later I attended my second program event, and eventually a Soldier Ride. Everyone thinks that it's just a bike ride. It's so much more than that – it's truly a life-changing opportunity, where I was challenged every step of the way to push myself. Beyond the chance to do things I never thought I could ever do, Wounded Warrior Project has blessed me and my family immensely - there are some experiences I could not have given my children with our financial limits, but WWP has made that possible."
Like all of Wounded Warrior Project's programs and services, Soldier Ride® is offered completely free of charge. To learn more about Soldier Ride, and the other ways that WWP is helping warriors successfully transition back to civilian life, please visit: 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