OTTAWA, Kan., June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a recent Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) event at Gun Guys in Ottawa, Kansas, injured veterans experienced firsthand what is possible when exposed to social events that get them out of the house, engaged with their service brothers and sisters, and committed to their healthy transition to civilian life.
"This was my first event," said Kristopher Loveless, a retired U.S. Army sergeant who deployed three times to Iraq as a transportation driver. "As a veteran, I'm gonna sign up for an event that lets me play with guns and see if my marksman skills are still as good as they were when I got out."
These fun activities support the long-term recovery needs of warriors with a special type of therapy: reintroducing injured veterans and their families to the unique bonds experienced during military service. Rarely duplicated in the civilian world, these relationships act as a secure bedrock that paves the road to recovery.
"The other vets and I had good laughs," said Kristopher. "We were doing what vets do best – cutting jokes on life and each other. We are making connections that are reassuring. It's good to know there are other local veterans who have been through the same experiences marching and kicking every day."
During event activities, WWP program specialists closely interact with attendees and advise them of additional services that can assist their recovery, providing warriors with more personalized therapeutic outlets. Generous donors make it possible for wounded veterans, like Kristopher, to participate in a rich variety of activities that empower wounded veterans to take control of their lives – at no cost to them.
"On the range, we were able to shoot and talk for about an hour and a half with unlimited shells," said Kristopher. "I watched as my friends played two games of checkers." Kristopher explained how the game is played on a target board with squares divided between two competing shooters. Taking turns, the first person to shoot all his or her squares wins. "The entire thing was enjoyable to me," Kristopher said.
By providing assistance with educational and employment goals, and physical, mental, and emotional recovery, veterans service organizations help Kristopher and his fellow injured warriors gain and maintain their independence.
"I'm thankful my friend got me in touch with Wounded Warrior Project," said Kristopher. "I think what the organization is doing is amazing. My friend is active with WWP, and I see how it helps him. I asked him how to register and within a week of signing up, I was taking advantage of impactful services too."
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The WWP purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project