BABYLON, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Firefighters and veterans cast their lines on the cold waters of New York harbor during a recent fishing trip hosted by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). WWP program events like this offer settings that provide opportunities for warriors to reduce isolation and recreate bonds similar to those formed in the military.
"It was a bit chilly out when I first arrived, but everyone was in a good mood," said Anna Swanson, an Army veteran served by WWP. "I'm always nervous about meeting new people because I want to feel at ease around other soldiers. Once the staff got things going and introduced everyone to one another, I felt better."
Fishing requires a great deal of finesse and patience – a difficult mindset when surrounded by the business of New York City. Thankfully, WWP staff introduced newcomers to the basics of fishing and assisted throughout the day.
"I've always enjoyed fishing, and it was good to see others develop a liking for it," Anna said. "Everyone had a good time. The firefighters were lots of fun to be around, and the laughs came easy when they got going with their stories and jokes."
Anna has attended other WWP gatherings but expressed thankfulness that there was a different pace at the fishing event.
"I was surprised at the turnout because it was a weekday, but I was so glad everyone came out," she said. "It was nice to relax outdoors while enjoying the company of fellow veterans and civil service members. There's something so peaceful about the water, and being around others like me made it even better."
For many warriors, the experiences they had in the military were some of the best of their lives, filled with fellowship, meaning, and direction. But upon return to civilian life, the isolation they face can be one of the most significant struggles wounded warriors deal with. It can be difficult knowing how to overcome that challenge and rekindle bonds similar to those formed in the military.
In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.7 percent) talked with fellow Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn veterans to address their mental health issues.
"I would tell anyone on the fence not to be – come out and join in," Anna said. "There are events for everyone, and I look forward to more like this down the road. Wounded Warrior Project always treats us great and makes everyone – newcomer or familiar face – feel right at home."
To learn more about how WWP's programs and services are making an impact on the lives of wounded warriors, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/.
About Wounded Warrior Project
We Connect, Serve, and Empower
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP connects wounded warriors and their families to valuable resources and one another, serves them through a variety of free programs and services, and empowers them to live life on their own terms. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project