ESTES PARK, Colo., Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since the cold weather has set in, Rocky Mountain National Park has transformed into a winter wonderland. A group of veterans took advantage of the white scenery during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) snowshoe hike. As injured veterans and family members braved the elements, they experienced firsthand what is possible at connection events that get them out of the house and socializing with fellow service members.
For most of the participants, strapping on snowshoes to make their way through the mountains was a brand new experience. The event focused on physical activity, perseverance, and connection – a chance for warriors to come together and bond over shared experiences.
"Being part of Wounded Warrior Project gives me the opportunity to connect with other veterans like me and create the same types of friendships I had while serving on active duty," said Army veteran Christopher Rasmussen. "That was the thing I missed the most when I exited the Army. The camaraderie that comes with belonging to this organization has filled the missing piece in my life during my transition from soldier to civilian – because we are all one and the same."
Activities like going on a hike and socializing with other veterans can help injured warriors cope with stress and emotional concerns. 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, and 29.6 percent expressed physical activity helps.
"Not only am I connecting with other warriors, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment after completing each hike," Christopher said.
WWP staff members interacted with attendees throughout the day, advising them of additional programs and services to assist in their recovery processes. The programs help 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 warriors and their families at no cost to them.
"Wounded Warrior Project even helped me buy books for college one semester because I had not yet received my financial aid," Christopher said. "It is just another way they are empowering me to be my best in my new civilian life."
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