Warriors Find Supportive Community While Exploring the Outdoors
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, Nov. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Volunteers turned a fly-fishing trip into a healing experience for injured veterans. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) organized the gathering on the breathtaking St. Joe River.
WWP warrior leader Jack Jones enlisted North 40 Outfitters to organize a two-day event in St. Maries, Idaho. The outdoor store had helped with a smaller WWP event last year, and as word spread, other volunteer organizations jumped in to help this year.
Jack is a 28-year Army veteran who moved to Idaho from California to make a fresh start serving veterans. As a warrior, he understands the transitions warriors make and the support they need. WWP encourages veterans to reach out to other veterans. Peer to peer connections remind warriors that they're not alone, that other veterans are there to support them, and that successful transitions are possible.
"I wanted to help other struggling veterans, and being a warrior leader was the best way for me to bring more Wounded Warrior Project events to rural northern Idaho," Jack said.
In addition to assistance from the outdoor store, the campground space was donated, and local volunteers from the Elks, American Legion, and Kiwanis clubs took care of food, meal preparation, cleaning, and campfires. Volunteer river guides took each warrior out on the water for one-on-one fly-fishing instruction.
"They had about 30 volunteers, and I've never been served in such a kind manner before," said Air Force veteran Daniel Bergmann, from Spokane, Washington. "I got choked up just thinking about it when I was leaving; they treated us so well."
"While I was on the boat, my mind was not focused on anything but fishing," Daniel added. "My guide made the excursion about me and the fish. My mind stopped racing; it was mentally good for me."
Activities like camping, fishing, and socializing with other veterans help warriors cope with stress and emotional concerns. These opportunities help connect warriors to people who know what they're going through.
Learn more about how WWP connects warriors to build strength through community.
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