ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Marine veteran Michael Pais brought his entire family to the ice rink: wife, daughters, grandson, and Gator the dog. Being able to connect with other families is one of the things that keeps Michael engaged with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). This time, his family got to ice skate together and meet other veterans and families.
"It helps with your mental health when you talk to other warriors," Michael said. "It's difficult to talk to family – even though they support you every time – but they might not understand what you're going through. It's more comfortable talking with other veterans because they've been there."
Michael served during Desert Storm, then served again in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea as a member of the Army National Guard Reserves.
He makes time to attend WWP events weekly and also participates in WWP peer support meetings. At the ice rink, a fellow warrior volunteered to teach other veterans.
Odetha Hill left active duty in 2006 and now teaches competitive figure skating and hockey at the Albuquerque facility the veterans visited. She became involved with WWP through her husband, who is also a veteran.
"I offered my services to make the day special," Odetha said. "I believe that any type of normalcy that we can bring into warriors' lives and into the lives of their family members can make a world of difference. Wounded Warrior Project has helped me as a caregiver to learn more about self-care."
WWP helps veterans connect with other warriors and stay engaged with their families and communities. Activities like ice skating, playing hockey, and socializing with other veterans help warriors connect with 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, and 30% indicated physical activity helps.
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