KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Santa Claus eating too many cookies to count on Christmas Eve, it is no wonder so many families are busy baking this time of year. During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connection event at a cooking school, professional chefs helped injured veterans and family members bake and decorate holiday cookies. In addition to receiving baking tips, participants had the opportunity to connect with fellow military families in their community.
Donning their WWP aprons, wounded warriors and their families set to work measuring, mixing, and baking sweet favorites such as sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. The baking session was a great learning – and bonding – experience for Army veteran Paul Thompson and his young daughter.
"I really enjoyed spending time with my daughter, and it was great watching her learn and apply what was taught right away," he said. "It was also a chance for warriors to get together and reflect on our time in service."
These connection events support the long-term recovery needs of warriors by reintroducing them and their families to the unique bonds experienced during military service. 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.
"A lot of times after we leave the military, we find ourselves not having that circle of friends who understand who we are and where we come from," Paul said. "Attending Wounded Warrior Project activities is like reuniting with family."
WWP staff members interacted with attendees over the course of the afternoon, advising them of additional programs and services to assist in their recovery processes. The programs assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. Through the generosity of donors, these beneficial programs are available to injured veterans and their families at no cost to them.
Connection events like this empower warriors to help others once they experience the benefits of getting out of the house and bonding with other warriors.
"Being part of the Wounded Warrior Project family means I know I have a family that I can turn to – even if it's just to spend time together doing things that we like," Paul said. "It means that we can work together to become a voice for those looking for someone to help."
To learn more about how WWP's programs and services are making an impact on the lives of wounded warriors, 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