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Jacksonville Student Athletes and Wounded Warriors Inspire Change

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 30 local student athletes, ages 13 to 18, recently participated in Veteran LDRSHIP Beach Challenge, a collaborative leadership event between Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and City Streets to Student Athletes, at Jacksonville Beach. During the annual event, local teens learned how to work as a team as they progressed through the large-scale physical challenge course that was led by wounded warrior coaches.

City Streets to Student Athletes was established to deter athletic students from drugs and crime and develop them into productive student athletes. These student athletes made their veteran coaches and local beach walkers proud as they publicly pledged to live drug-free lives, be positive influences on each other, and make valuable contributions to society. Each activity station aimed to test the endurance and leadership of each athlete with exercises such as scaling walls, running while strapped to a tire, and performing fireman carries.

But the event did more than help mold Jacksonville's next generation.

"This event helped wounded warriors just as much as it helped our youth," said Carlos DeLeon, retired U.S. Army veteran and WWP Peer Support Group leader. "Making connections with other veterans and the local community are invaluable to a warrior's recovery. It creates a support structure that allows warriors to not only survive, but to thrive in their civilian life."

Peer support plays an important role in the recovery process as injured veterans rely upon each other's learned experiences when managing day-to-day challenges. All WWP programs and services have an aspect of this support structure, while the Peer Support program is solely dedicated to ensuring every injured veteran, family member, and caregiver encourages one another in recovery, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another off the battlefield.

"The other veterans and I were able to bond while supporting two phenomenal organizations and, hopefully, inspiring and motivating today's youth," Carlos said. "Make no mistake, the student athletes inspired and motived us veterans, too."

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

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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project

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