JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of injured veterans and family members took in a few hours of live professional wrestling during a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing to WWE® SmackDown Live. They also experienced firsthand what is possible at social gatherings that get them out of the house and connected with fellow service members.
More than 100 participants began their evening at WWP headquarters, where they dined on pizza while staff members informed them about programs and services that help in the recovery process. Through the generosity of donors, these programs are available to warriors and their families at no cost to them.
Marine Corps veteran Victor Mercado – a long-time fan of professional wrestling – was excited that his first outreach event would be a trip to SmackDown Live with his daughter. Making the gathering more enjoyable was the fact that he got to meet and connect with other veterans.
"It was awesome to sit with other veterans and have a good time with one another and our families," he said. "Outings like this are great for those of us with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety issues. It allows people like me to get out of the house and keep busy."
These connection activities support the recovery needs of warriors by reintroducing them to the 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.
"It's a great organization to be a part of," Victor said. "I feel comfortable being around other people who understand what I have experienced, and it's good to know there is a dedicated staff that can address questions, issues, or concerns about the benefits we have earned as veterans."
To learn more about how WWP's programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/. To find photos from this event, click on multimedia, then images.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project