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In A Warrior’s Own Words: My Blessings

By Faapepele (Pele) Hunkin, Army retiree

First, I want to give God all the honor, praise, and glory for his blessings upon me. I honestly do not know where to start when it comes to Wounded Warrior Project® because they have made such a great impact in my life. I am forever grateful to this organization, and I must say that Wounded Warrior Project is a true blessing to my new journey in life.

I have been through a lot in life, and many times, I felt like giving up. I lost my first love — and my children’s father — in Balad, Iraq. I lost the loves of my life, my beloved parents. I remarried 10 years after my husband’s passing and was divorced two years later. I nearly lost my only son in April this year due to a sudden bleeding and swelling of his brain, and he went through a frightening brain surgery. Many times when I was overwhelmed with the challenges of life, I turned to alcohol as the solution to my problems. 

I am truly blessed with the programs offered through Wounded Warrior Project, which helped me tremendously to become the better person I am today with all that I was going through. Thanks to Wounded Warrior Project, I remembered that I am a strong mother and warrior to my three beautiful children — Nicole, Dean Jr., and Victoria — and that I had to stand and fight to hold my ground. 

I remember a quote by John Maxwell: “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” Therefore, I had to make that choice of being a strong mother and warrior for my children to live a positive life. I had to choose to be better and not bitter with what life was throwing at me. I did not allow what I was going through to define who I am. I love the better version of myself today, and I sincerely thank Wounded Warrior Project from the bottom of my heart.

So, what I am trying to say is this: I did not give up on life, and I owe that to Wounded Warrior Project for all the services provided, especially the weekly phone calls I receive from the WWP Talk program.

Thank you wholeheartedly to the Wounded Warrior Project organization for all the phenomenal programs that contributed to me becoming a stronger mother, warrior, an Army retiree, and the amazing person that I am today. I pray for God's blessings upon everyone in this organization for being a blessing to my life and to many others. I love all of you for your love and support.

The preceding was a letter from Pele Hunkin, an Army retiree who served 19 years, including one deployment to Iraq. She registered with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in 2015. Pele has participated in WWP’s Warrior Care Network®Project Odyssey®WWP TalkPhysical Health & Wellness program, and several connection events. As part of her recovery, Pele enjoys telling her story and was recently chosen as one of 20 people to speak at a summit hosted by motivational speaker Les Brown.

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.