ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 12, 2017) – For those who cannot decide whether to play basketball, take up jai alai, or ride bumper cars, Whirlyball could very well be the ideal sport. During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) outing, a group of injured veterans and family members tried their hands at the truly unique game. The gathering gave warriors a chance to connect with fellow service members and build support networks that help with healthy recoveries.
“Attending events like this gives us that sense of camaraderie we lost when we left military service,” said Army veteran Jesse Babson. “For a few hours, we are back among that group of people where we can be ourselves. I’ve seen veterans start an event with uneasiness, and by the time it’s over they are wide open; it’s great. I don’t know where I would be without the support of Wounded Warrior Project.”
For the game, the group was split in half, with each assigned to their own bumper car-like vehicles called “Whirlybugs.” Using scoops, each team tried to score a “Whirlic” by passing a plastic ball through a goal. Playing the mashup sport was a first for most participants.
“It was definitely a unique experience,” Jesse said. “That’s what I love about Wounded Warrior Project – they connect me with so many opportunities for things I would never have tried on my own. And it’s fun to try these new things with fellow veterans.”
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.
Staff members interacted with attendees during the game, advising them of additional services to assist in their recovery processes. WWP programs assist 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 connection activities and benefit from program resources at no cost to them.
To learn more about how WWP’s programs and services are connecting, serving, and empowering wounded warriors, visit https://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org. To find photos from this event, click on multimedia, then images.
Contact: Mattison Brooks – Public Relations Specialist
About Wounded Warrior Project
We Connect, Serve, and Empower
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP connects wounded warriors and their families to valuable resources and one another, serves them through a variety of free programs and services, and empowers them to live life on their own terms. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.