JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After 146 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus will bid a final farewell to audiences in May. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and their families recently experienced the magic one last time in Jacksonville. While warriors and guests enjoyed the feats of both human and animal stars, they learned what is possible at social events that get them out of the house and connected with fellow service members.
Before the act began in the big top, guest ringmaster Chris Shriver of news station WJXT called attention to the warriors in attendance, and the audience roared their appreciation. Soon after, they were entertained by exotic animals, trick riders, acrobats, and more. Army veteran Carl Wheless took joy in seeing the show delight his wife and three-year-old son.
"We are very lucky to enjoy these experiences as a family," he said. "We are making memories that will last a lifetime."
Connecting with fellow military families is equally important to Carl. These activities support the long-term 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 veterans to address their mental health issues.
"It is important for my family to see, hear, and feel the camaraderie and support radiating from these events," Carl said. "It reassures them that what they deal with because of my medical conditions is not unique. There are other families going through the same things."
WWP offers programs and services that assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. Generous donors make it possible for wounded warriors to benefit from program resources at no cost to them.
"Wounded Warrior Project has truly been my lifeline," Carl said. "Without the staff and my fellow wounded warriors, I do not know where my family and I would be today."
To learn and see more about how WWP's programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/, and click on multimedia.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project