CHICAGO (Jan. 20, 2017) – A group of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) veterans and family members recently experienced the thrill of skydiving – without having to jump from a perfectly good airplane. At iFly Indoor Skydiving, warriors tackled an exciting new activity while experiencing the benefits of connecting with fellow service members and their local community.
As the evening began, participants enjoyed pizza while instructors entered the wind tunnel, performing stunts for the audience’s entertainment. Then warriors and guests suited up and took their turns to fly. After learning some techniques, participants were soon flying and spinning on their own – and each was brave enough to go for a second run when offered.
“The evening was a real confidence-builder,” said Army veteran Juan Sandoval. “I really appreciate everything Wounded Warrior Project does for us. This event helped me start my year off right.”
These connection activities support the long-term recovery needs of warriors by reintroducing them and their families to the unique bonds experienced during military service. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.7 percent) talked with fellow Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn veterans to address their mental health issues, and 29.6 percent expressed physical activity helps.
“Being part of something larger than myself was what I loved about the military,” said Navy and Army veteran Douglas Kollar. “As a part of the Wounded Warrior Project family, I once again feel like I belong. Being around other warriors empowers us to support one another.”
WWP staff spent part of the evening advising attendees of additional services and personalized therapeutic outlets to assist in their recovery processes. WWP offers a variety of programs and services that help injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. Generous donors make it possible for wounded warriors to take part in outreach activities and benefit from program resources at no cost to them.
“Taking part in these activities with other veterans makes me feel normal again, but Wounded Warrior Project staff really help make the event for me,” Douglas said. “I don’t know if it is the love they have for what they do or the love they have for us that keeps me coming back, but when I’m there, I feel like someone who matters again.”
Contact: Mattison Brooks – Public Relations Specialist
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org.