MIAMI, Oct. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Women veterans felt empowered as they connected on their own terms during a weekend in the Florida Keys organized by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
"The military is a common thread – not a totality of our existence," Brittny O'Brien, retired captain, U.S. Air Force said. "The group was amazing. The women were interested in being in the present, versus engaging in stories of grandeur about their past glory days from their deployments and active duty."
Looking forward to the future was an important theme for the warriors, who also took time to bond while working on a community project at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key.
"The Dolphin Research Center was a great way to kick off the weekend," Brittny said. "Many of us got to experience an emotion that we hadn't in so long: Joy. Breathing life into that fleeting emotion was powerful."
The warriors found an unexpected connection. "Their one rescue dolphin, Jax, has scars, fin deformities, and has had a painful past, like many of us," Brittny observed.
The weekend allowed time to share stories in a safe space. "I was able to focus on the core of my issues. It allowed me to identify them and confront them," Brittny said.
Each warrior created a vision board to express both personal and professional goals. "It helped me see where I need to go, and I chose to focus on my relationship with my husband," said Kathi Basarab, a Marine veteran.
The vision boards are 11-inch by 14-inch visual cues that warriors took home to remind them of the connections between belief, thought, action, and reality as discussed during their time together. They're also reminders of the friendships formed.
"This group connected right away, and not a single person left feeling like they weren't part of the group," Kathi said. "We connect on a daily basis." Follow-up meetings are planned as part of a possible new peer support group for women wounded warriors, a first in the region for WWP.
To learn more about how WWP helps veterans find their next mission, visit https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/alumni.
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: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project