JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The spirit of Thanksgiving is one of togetherness, delicious food, and recognizing the good things we have in our lives. Many local warriors and their families were able to experience that at a recent dinner hosted Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Christ's Church.
For Jason Cullum, lead pastor at Christ's Church, the program event was about giving back to those who had given so much to their communities.
"We wanted to do our best to honor the active duty service members and veterans here at home too," Jason said. "We thought it would be a great opportunity to love on them – and just be a family together during this time of the season."
For many veterans, 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.
"We are all meant to do life together, and sometimes it's easy to feel alone and isolated," Jason said. "Getting people together in a room like this – to see there are other people going through the same things we are going through, or have the same experiences that we have gone through, and just to create that connection – helps people realize they're not alone."
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. WWP programs assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. All programs and services are offered free of charge thanks to generous donors.
"The sacrifices that our military families make are absolutely huge," Jason said. "To be able to say 'thank you' to them – and have them feel the appreciation of other people – is very important to keeping their spirits high. It's nice to be able to encourage them, especially during a time of year when they might have someone deployed and they're alone."
During the gathering, warriors also spoke to what they were thankful for during the year. To hear what they were thankful for in 2016, and to find photos from this event, visit https://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