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Stronger Together: Introducing WWP's Community Partners Supporting Mental Health and Brain Health

WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington
WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) proudly provides free programs and services to meet the needs of the nation’s post-9/11 wounded warriors and their families. However, no single organization can handle this population's various needs and challenges. 

WWP invests in best-in-class organizations to augment its programs and services and build a collaborative support network. This work is vital to building robust and resilient veteran families and communities.

Learn more about WWP’s community partnerships.

In this article, WWP highlights the partners that help warriors and their loved ones treat the invisible wounds of war and improve their quality of life. Data collected from WWP’s 2021 Annual Warrior Survey shows that many warriors experience fear, pain, uncertainty, and isolation during their journeys to recovery. 

  • Nearly 1 in 4 warriors had suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months. Of the warriors who reported these suicidal thoughts, most (70%) had them in the last two weeks. 
  • In addition, 75% of warriors identified as living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 74% with anxiety, and 72% with depression. 
  • Regarding physical injuries, 42% say they live with nearly chronic pain. 

To help warriors address invisible wounds, improve their quality of life, and complement WWP’s programs and services, WWP is proud to partner with the following veterans service organizations:

America’s Warrior Partnership – The mission of America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) is to partner with communities to prevent veteran suicide. AWP connects local veteran-serving organizations with the appropriate resources, services, and partners they need to support veterans, their families, and caregivers at every stage of a veteran’s life. AWP’s goal is to improve the quality of life for veterans and to end veteran suicide by empowering local communities to serve them proactively and holistically before a crisis occurs.

AWP’s approach to veteran empowerment is a four-step plan to Connect, Educate, Advocate, and Collaborate with veterans, their families, caregivers, and the communities that support them.

Bastion Community of Resilience – Bastion Community of Resilience’s mission is to support returning warriors and families through their transition from military service and beyond by providing a healing environment within an intentionally designed neighborhood. This purposeful community provides an ecosystem where wounded, ill, or injured veterans live alongside retired military and civilian volunteers. Bastion residents benefit from the experience of helping others, which promotes well-being and life satisfaction. The Bastion approach restores families, reduces stress at home, and expands social networks to strengthen resilience.

The headway program at Bastion is a comprehensive program created to serve post-9/11 warriors living with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress, or varied neurological conditions that require specialized rehabilitative services and social/emotional support for successful community reintegration.

Boulder Crest Foundation – Boulder Crest Foundation’s (BCF) mission is to facilitate post-traumatic growth through transformative programs, world-class training and education initiatives, and research and advocacy efforts. BCF envisions a world where all combat veterans, first responders, and their families have the training, skills, and support they need to transform their struggle into lifelong post-traumatic growth.

Boulder Crest Foundation’s Warrior PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) Program utilizes the science of post-traumatic growth to facilitate transformation so veterans and their families can live productive, fulfilling, and service-oriented lives at home. The program begins with a seven-day on-site workshop, followed by 90 days of training delivered by BCF instructors through the myPATHH virtual platform.

BrainLine (WETA) – BrainLine is a national multimedia project offering authoritative information and support to anyone whose life has been affected by brain injury or post-traumatic stress (PTS), including people with brain injuries, their family and friends, and the professionals who work with them. As a program of WETA-TV, BrainLine also provides military-specific information and resources on traumatic brain injury and PTS to veterans, service members, and their families.

Code of Support Foundation – Code of Support Foundation (COSF) changes lives by connecting military families, veteran families, and caregivers to the resources and support they have earned through their service and sacrifice. COSF breaks through complex barriers between veterans and thousands of veterans service organizations designed to serve them with people and technology.

To achieve its mission, COSF developed and maintained PATRIOTlink®, a national database that lists fully vetted, no-cost services for veterans, caregivers, and active-duty military. COSF’s peer navigators provide direct and holistic support through case coordination to resolve issues with veteran benefits, health care, income or housing insecurity, education, employment, financial counseling, and more.

Combined Arms – Combined Arms (CAX) is a backbone organization on a mission to accelerate the impact of veterans while fundamentally redesigning the military transition process through innovation and collaboration. CAX exists to accelerate the transition from military to civilian life. The faster veterans integrate into the community, the faster they can harness their passions and skills to make an impact. CAX’s methodology and technology help fragmented social service markets reach more veterans through a collaborative system and curated coordination of services.

CAX connects veterans to resources so they can make “civilian” their next branch of service. It serves active duty, reservists, National Guard, veterans from all service eras, and their family members.

Eisenhower Center – Eisenhower Center is guided by its longstanding commitment to providing safe environments for its clients, caring and high-quality personnel, progressive and flexible programming, interactive engagement with clients and their families, and a principled approach to health care.

Eisenhower Center’s After the Impact is a treatment program for professional athletes, emergency responders, and military service members recovering from neurological injuries. Participants recovering from a concussion, mild TBI, PTSD, anxiety/depression, and suspected CTE are immersed in an intense transitional treatment program to educate, support, and treat multiple deficit areas and contributory factors.

Gold Star Peak – Gold Star Peak brings veterans and survivors together in nature to remember and honor the fallen and bring healing to all. Gold Star Peak works to improve the well-being of military veterans and the Gold Star Families of service members who have given their lives in times of war through education, support, and advocacy.

Gold Star Peak, Inc. is a team of Gold Star Families, veterans, service members, and their families who have all seen the devastation that combat has brought from the battlefields to homes and communities. Located in Alaska, the organization was formed in direct response to the growing number of individuals and families who continue to struggle from the effects associated with years of continued combat service.

The Headstrong Project – is a leading, national-facing mental health network for our nation’s military members and families connected to their care that delivers cost-free, bureaucracy-free, and stigma-free evidence-based treatment with industry-leading outcomes. Our practice is founded on three leading principles: Unequaled access to best-in-class clinicians who deliver transformative care through individualized treatment with integrity. Our professional staff, accomplished clinicians, and generous donors unite in a singular purpose - to deliver the courage, tools, and ability to recover and grow following trauma. Headstrong’s trauma-informed clinical partners provide individualized, evidence-based care to thousands of military-connected members and their families since inception, with over 1,000 veterans in care monthly.

Homes For Our Troops – Homes For Our Troops’ (HFOT) mission is to build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives. Each home HFOT builds is equipped with over 40 major special adaptations, and exceeds ADA compliancy standards, providing full accessibility for veterans.

Hope For The Warriors – Hope For The Warriors believes those touched by military service can succeed at home by restoring their sense of self, family, and hope. Nationally, Hope For The Warriors provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources.

Melwood – Melwood’s mission is to advocate for and empower individuals with disabilities to transform their lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community. Melwood Veterans Services LLC (MVS) is where veterans, families, and caregivers can find programs, resources, and a community – all geared towards recognizing and serving those who have served. Operation Tohidu is an experiential retreat specializing in work with military sexual trauma. Programming is designed to support participants in gaining mastery of their lives by addressing struggles unique to this type of experience.

Shepherd Center – Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is the nation’s largest not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, rehabilitation, and research for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. The SHARE (Shaping Hope and Recovery Excellence) Military Initiative began in 2008 to provide a continuum of rehabilitation care for service members who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while serving the United States during Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom conflicts. Over time, the program has come to focus primarily on all post-9/11 service members and veterans who have sustained mild TBI, which causes significant physical, behavioral, and cognitive deficiencies.

The SHARE program capitalizes on Shepherd Center’s expertise in treating TBIs and ensures that clients receive the proper care in a timely fashion to enable their re-entry into civilian or military life. It provides a comprehensive curriculum specifically tailored to meet the needs of each client, including complimentary housing, physical, occupational, vocational, and speech therapy, medical visits, transition support, therapeutic recreation, and legal, financial, and psychological counseling, among many other programs.

Team Red, White & Blue – Team Red, White & Blue’s (Team RWB) enriches the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Team RWB believes that physical fitness and social connections are vital to keep veterans from declining into degraded physical and mental wellness, a lack of purpose, isolation, substance abuse, and depression.

The Mission Continues – The goal of The Mission Continues (TMC) is to empower veterans to continue their service and empower communities with veteran talent, skills, and preparedness to generate visible impact. TMC’s vision is for all veterans who want to continue their service to be a part of a movement to transform communities.

Travis Manion Foundation – The mission of Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) is to empower veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations. Guided by the mantra, “If Not Me, Then Who…,” veterans and families of the fallen continue their service, develop strong relationships with their communities, and thrive in their post-military lives. Grounded in the field of Positive Psychology, TMF’s programs provide a nonclinical, preventative approach to improving the mental health and well-being of veterans and families of the fallen. TMF’s signature programs include personal development opportunities like Leading With Your Strengths and the Spartan Leadership Program; a youth mentorship program called Character Does Matter; and Operation Legacy service projects that honor the fallen.

Vail Veterans Program – Vail Veterans Program’s (VVP) mission is to provide innovative and transformational programs that build confidence and improve lives to service members with physical and/or invisible injuries and their families. VVP programs are offered at no cost to wounded veterans and their families from across the nation, eliminating geographic and financial barriers. VVP programs include outdoor therapeutic programs, military caregiver retreats, resilience training courses, as well as family support programs, virtual programs, and a direct grant award program. VVP strives to achieve program outcomes that include increased confidence, independence, wellness practices, self-care, interfamily communication, support networks, and holistic empowerment.

VETERANetwork – Since 2010, the Clearinghouse for Military Readiness at Penn State has built on the university’s tradition of supporting service members, veterans, and their families. Researchers at the Clearinghouse were primary partners in The Veterans Metrics Initiative (TVMI), a collaborative research effort designed to examine well-being during the military-to-civilian transition and evaluate the effect of program use on well-being outcomes for veterans. In 2021, the Clearinghouse launched VETERANetwork to bring together philanthropies, foundations, and other veteran-serving non-profit organizations to make data more actionable and engage in meaningful dialogue about the implications of the data for veteran programs and services. The Clearinghouse has taken a leadership role in the expansion of TVMI, now leading continued independent data collection and research efforts of the longitudinal survey as Veterans Engaging in Transition Studies (VETS).

Veteran’s PATH – Veteran’s PATH provides high-quality, veteran-specific mindfulness training and support to build inner strength and resilience. The four-month Women’s BRAVE Program is designed to empower women with the tools and environment to foster healing and strengthen self-compassion and social connection. Delivered via a hybrid model (a five-day in-person retreat, virtual follow-up, and an in-person three-day closing event), the program is designed and led by women warriors and mindfulness-based facilitators. The Accelerated Mind Performance training is a mental conditioning course designed to teach cutting-edge techniques for developing mental resilience and agility through meditation practices. The course meets weekly for one-hour classes (virtual or in-person) during 6 weeks of instruction.

Veteran’s Community Connection – Vets’ Community Connections’ (VCC) mission is to assist veterans, military, their families, and caregivers in successfully integrating into their community by expanding their local networks and involving all parts of the community. VCC addresses transitioning and reintegration challenges and gaps by providing a channel for veterans, service members, and their families to more easily and fully reintegrate into their communities following military service, facilitating their ability to lead happier, healthier, and more financially secure lives.

Vets4Warriors – Through Vets4Warriors (V4W), veterans provide 24/7 confidential, stigma-free, and personalized peer support to veterans, active-duty service members, and their family or caregivers. V4W’s goal is to provide peer support before a person is in crisis. Peers utilize the Reciprocal Peer Support© Wellness model to offer their shared lived experiences and create an environment of trust and confidence that demonstrates to those contacting V4W that they are never alone. Vets4Warriors utilizes extensive reach and collaborations to connect those reaching out to the resources needed to improve their lives, well-being, and resiliency.

Warrior Canine Connection – Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) is a pioneering organization that utilizes a Mission Based Trauma Recovery (MBTR) model to help recovering warriors reconnect with life, their families, their communities, and each other. They join a therapeutic mission of learning to train service dogs for their fellow veterans, effectively increasing the impact one dog has on dozens of Veterans. Program participants receive therapeutic benefit from skills development in communication, confidence building, accountability, emotional regulation and patience to promote an act of service.

Warrior Reunion Foundation – Warrior Reunion Foundation’s mission is to support combat veterans in overcoming the challenges of post-military transition by reconnecting those who served together overseas. They challenge stigma through shared experience and rebuilding essential peer support networks that enable veterans to live with meaning, purpose, and positive impact in their communities.

Since 2012, WWP has invested more than $359 million in 218 organizations that assist wounded veterans and families at the local and national levels, connecting them with the resources they need to thrive in civilian life. 

Contact: Krissty Andaur — PR Specialist, kandaur@woundedwarriorproject.org, 904.760.6957

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.

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