ROCKLEDGE, Fla., Dec. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing to ClayZ Arts, injured veterans and family members took a break from the hectic pace of the holiday season and gathered for a ceramics painting session. As they added personal touches to various clay crafts, participants experienced firsthand what is possible at social events that get them out of the house and connected with fellow service members.
Wounded warriors and guests gathered at the art studio where instructors taught them the basic techniques of painting intricate ceramic sculptures using a rainbow of glazes. From sculptures to coffee mugs to holiday serving platters, each participant was able to customize an item to be fired in the kiln. They were also able to form friendships with other military families in their community.
"I have never done ceramics before, so I thought this would be a good experience," said Army and Navy veteran Anthony Johnson, who attended the gathering with his family. "I enjoyed the camaraderie with other veterans, and just being able to get out and get involved was awesome."
These outreach activities support the long-term recovery needs of warriors with 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.
"Getting out of the house can be a chore sometimes," Anthony admitted. "Wounded Warrior Project makes it easier. My family and I always have a great time, and the memories are long-lasting. It has helped me manage my post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, which allows me to connect with people more."
WWP staff members interacted with attendees throughout the evening, advising them of personalized therapeutic outlets and 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 programs are available to veterans and their families at no cost to them.
"It is always great to have that feeling of belonging, especially when you are part of something much bigger than yourself," Anthony said. "Wounded Warrior Project helps give you back that sense of purpose."
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/. To find photos from this event, click on multimedia, then images.
About Wounded Warrior Project
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