TOANO, Va., Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Navy veteran Jessenia Smith and her husband Truitt experienced the healing nature of caring for horses at a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) equine therapy workshop. Their love for animals enhanced the workshop's impact and helped them interact with other veterans.
"It was beneficial for both of us," Jessenia said. "With this type of equine therapy, you groom and listen to the horse and also work together as a team."
Jessenia explained that she and Truitt, also a Navy veteran, had a chance to meet other warriors and share how they feel about their place in the world. "Anything with Wounded Warrior Project is not any pressure. You share if you want to share. You're in a safe zone with other like-minded people who support you, and they support you 100%."
Jessenia has felt a sense of validation through equine therapy and other WWP programs. She also participated in a WWP Soldier Ride® in New Orleans in 2015. "I'm still friends with other riders from that event, and it was an amazing experience," Jessenia said.
Jessenia first heard about WWP when she was recovering from serious injuries sustained while deployed in South America. After leaving the military, she attended an all-female veteran WWP event. She met fellow veterans who reminded her of herself a few years earlier.
"Attending Wounded Warrior Project events made my journey relevant," Jessenia said. "Interacting with other veterans helped me see myself and what I'd been suppressing. Sometimes, just being in the room with other people who get it is all it takes. You're being validated for what you feel. That's what Wounded Warrior Project gives to me – it's that validation that no one else can give you."
WWP connection events give injured veterans a chance to socialize with other veterans to build the support network they need to overcome the challenges they face. In a WWP survey of the wounded warriors it serves, more than two in five (41%) expressed they talk with fellow veterans to address their mental health concerns.
Learn more about how WWP connects warriors to build strength through community.
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: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/mission
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project