Injured Veterans and Families Find Connections to Nature and Each Other
ORLANDO, Fla., May 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Injured veterans and their families got up close and personal with marine life at a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) family day. WWP organized a day-long water adventure to provide opportunities to connect with fellow warriors in a welcoming environment.
Navy veteran Gabriel Cosme has attended other WWP activities with his family, but this day brought a joy they had not seen in a while.
"The best part was seeing him smile and enjoy the day," said Lercy Cosme, Gabriel's wife. "My husband enjoys nature and animals – they approach him and seem to have a calming effect."
Lercy and Gabriel welcome opportunities to bring their two teenagers along for family bonding. They enjoyed the lazy river, snorkeling, and interacting with dolphins at Discovery Cove.
"We really enjoyed the entire day, and the kindness of everyone," Lercy added.
Rebecca Benton, a Navy veteran, highlighted the group's kindness and understanding when she felt anxious for a moment. "Wounded Warrior Project staff found a quiet room, and everyone went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable, which preserved my ability to participate and meet new people. Knowing you can count on an extended family to support you, and having options to accommodate your needs, makes a big difference."
Rebecca and her daughter attended as a birthday gift from her husband, a Marine veteran. "I don't get to spend that much time with my daughter – I'm caring for myself, and I'm the primary caregiver for my husband. This day I did not have to worry about caregiving and could just be in the moment. Normally, my issues can be an inconvenience, so having a supportive community is really important."
Socializing with other veterans helps warriors connect with the support network they need to overcome the challenges they face. In a WWP survey (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/survey) of the wounded warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (52.6 percent) expressed they talk with fellow veterans to address mental health concerns.
To learn more about how WWP connects warriors to build strength through community, visit https://wwp.news/GetConnected.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project