WILMINGTON, N.C., May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Town Creek was full of snakes, turtles, and owls when Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans recently took a kayaking trip along the coastal wetlands of the scenic Cape Fear River Basin.
It was a comfortable setting that showed Navy veteran Carla Bonanno and Marine veteran Nathaniel Hill how social gatherings like paddling on the black water tributary connect warriors with one another and their communities.
"I was apprehensive at first because I was the only woman in the group," Carla said. "But the guys made me feel at home. They made me part of the group. Immediately we had a blast, and we became good friends."
Connection events like this empower warriors to reduce stress, combat depression, and live an overall healthy and active lifestyle.
"I would say if anyone has anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, do this," Carla said. "The scenery and wildlife were incredible. I was very comfortable the entire trip."
The kayaking adventure was Nathaniel's first WWP gathering, and he said it won't be his last since nature and camaraderie gave him a relaxing way to heal his body and mind.
"I wanted to do something out of the norm, something that got me out of what felt like a classroom setting," he said. "Being outdoors felt great. Being able to meet veterans and share the experience is something I won't forget."
In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, 29.6 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns. Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity and connecting with other veterans.
Besides the wildlife, new friendships left a lasting memory.
"No matter what walk of life you come from, when you get with other warriors, they are your best friends," Carla said.
To learn and see more about how WWP's programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project