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Stories That Brought Us Joy in 2020

Joy is not the same as happiness, according to a Yale University researcher. Joy is a purposeful choice to see beyond the circumstances, and it can be felt alongside sorrow.

Happiness often comes from external happenings. Joy comes from within and with the realization that we’re not alone in the midst of suffering, that we’re connected to others who are experiencing the same struggles we are.

There’s no denying the struggles of 2020, but there were also moments of joy. These are stories – from warriors, supporters and friends – that created moments of joy:

  • Jayden Magliaro, a six-year-old who supports veterans bicycling with Soldier Ride as they approach his neighborhood every year. 
  • Bridger Walker, a brave young man who saved his sister from a dog attack and asked people to donate to veterans while he recovered from injuries.  
  • Rhys Dukes, who turned 6 and only asked for donations to veterans for his birthday. 
  • Jeffry Priela, Navy hospital corpsman, walks 10K with weights in Stormtrooper gear to raise funds for veterans.
  • Veterans Joe Web and Cody McCormick, who walked 170 miles to honor the road to recovery for other veterans.  
  • Army veteran Pele Hunkin shares her warrior journey in her own words. 
  • Marine veteran John Alicea used his COVID relief check to bring joy to healthcare workers. 
  • Air Force veteran John Goubeaux used his COVID relief check to buy a sewing machine, made nearly 1,000 masks for veterans and local hospitals.
  • Air Force veteran Tom Marcum has found purpose in woodworking to help people in his community during the pandemic. 

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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