SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- National Guard veteran Evamarie Duff doesn't mind driving two hours to network with other veterans. Recently, she even put a little spring in her step by joining a dance lesson organized by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
"I grew up dancing," Evamarie said. "Where I currently live, I don't have that option – it's a small town in the middle of a corn field, about 50 or 60 miles from a dance studio."
The dance lessons are offered through WWP's Physical Health and Wellness program. The goal is to get warriors active and on a path to recovery, both physically and mentally.
Evamarie manages post-traumatic stress from her service in Iraq. She stays active with other veterans through WWP and her local VFW organization. She says she has good days and not-so-good days. "If I don't talk to anyone for a while, it's because I'm not doing well," Evamarie said. "If it weren't for activities like the dance class, I wouldn't have a chance to network and check in with other veterans."
WWP gatherings connect warriors with activities, training, skills, and techniques that empower them to reduce stress, combat depression, and live an overall healthy and active lifestyle.
"I love dancing," Evamarie said. "It's something I did when I was little. I enjoy it, and I wanted to do more. I used to do ballet, tap, jazz, and was part of a Hispanic dance group in middle school." Evamarie, whose maternal roots are in Mexico, performed regional folkloric dances from different states of Mexico.
As an adult, the social aspects of dancing are a lighthearted way to stay active physically and remain socially engaged. "It's good to connect to other people and represent veterans in our communities," Evamarie said.
In a WWP survey of the wounded warriors it serves, 32.6 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity is one of the things that helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns. Dancing and socializing with other veterans can help warriors on their journeys to physical recovery, in addition to providing a new way to connect.
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.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project