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Buddy the Elf Joins Veterans at Wounded Warrior Project Winter Connection Gathering

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 23, 2016) – Thanks to the most famous yellow leotard in the world, we all know Buddy the Elf when we see him. Warriors who attended a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connection event enjoyed an adults-only screening of the holiday classic “Elf” while munching on popcorn and Chinese food, savoring traditional holiday goodies such as egg nog, and learning about WWP programs.

Guests at the movie night experienced firsthand what is possible at social gatherings that get them out of the house and give them a chance to bond with fellow service members.

Army veteran Johnny Flores participated in the event as a group leader to share WWP resources and talk about the benefits of peer support for wounded veterans. Johnny said he appreciated the effort that went into planning the gathering.

“I like the relaxed and calm environment,” Johnny said. “The staff and everyone there was very welcoming.”

For additional fun, a selfie station was set up so guests could have keepsakes from the event.

A common challenge for warriors and families is easily forgetting the importance of taking a moment to de-stress. Johnny said the connection event reminded him of that: “I learned it’s good to take opportunities just to decompress, hang out with others, and spend time – I mean real quality time – with your spouse because they need that as well. I think sometimes we can get so focused and lost in our personal lives that we forget to do that, and it's a great way to charge your battery and go home refreshed and ready for what life has coming your way.”

It’s all about good conversations with good people and no pressure, Johnny explained.

The 2016 WWP Annual Warrior Survey highlights the importance of opportunities for connection at WWP outreach events, which support the long-term recovery of warriors in environments that accommodate physical injuries and social anxieties.

To learn and see more about how WWP’s programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, click on multimedia, then images.


Contact: Lazjee’ C. Lyles – Public Relations Coordinator


Phone: 904.405.1137

About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at

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