April 7 is National World Health Day. On this day – and every day – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) focuses on the overall well-being of warriors, including the importance of connection.
Because no veteran should ever feel alone, WWP prioritizes connection in its mission to honor and empower wounded warriors through life-changing programs and services, like the Total Warrior Experience. Recently held for the first time in San Antonio, this event allowed warriors from across the country to come together and experience distinct aspects of WWP, like Soldier Ride, Project Odyssey, Benefits Services, and WWP Talk. The power of making these interpersonal connections with others helps the bravest begin their healing journey.
“The Total Warrior Experience opens doors for warriors and their families to gain a holistic view of how WWP might lend a helping hand,” said James Herrera, WWP Physical Health & Wellness vice president. “The elements of social connection, mental, physical, and financial well-being are interconnected and play a role in improving warriors’ overall quality of life.”
The comprehensive approach of the Total Warrior Experience helped warriors like Ashley Tucker. A member of the Army Reserve, Ashley came home after deploying to Iraq to face her next battle – the invisible wounds of war. Ashley knew she needed help but felt isolated and anxious as she transitioned into civilian life while also learning to cope with PTSD. That is when a WWP teammate reached out to lend a hand.
“I’ve been isolated since returning from deployment,” Ashley shared (pictured with her spouse). “I’ve had trouble reintegrating back into civilian life because it’s a significant change. Being able to attend Total Warrior Experience was the best thing for me. It got me out of my comfort zone. If I could go again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
WWP has helped veterans connect for almost two decades because there is value in making connections with others. According to WWP’s latest Annual Warrior Survey, the likelihood of experiencing PTSD symptoms is 57% lower among warriors who’ve maintained the social support of their military friends.
“We don’t realize how important human connection is until it’s gone,” Ashley explains. “If other warriors are out there even considering attending an event to connect with others, do it. Don’t think about it. If it’s virtual, press the button and get on the call. The feeling afterward is like no other. People want to listen and help; you just have to put yourself out there.”
Contact: — Krissty Andaur - Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.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.