HELPING VETERANS HELP THEMSELVES: WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
November 11, 2023
Veterans Day celebrates our soldiers, past and present, who have given their all to protect our country and our freedoms. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) goes way beyond celebrating to helping wounded veterans live their fullest lives after returning from service.
What began as a small grassroots effort in 2003, providing simple care and comfort items to the hospital bedsides of the first wounded service members returning home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, has evolved into a direct service organization for post 9-/11 service-connected veterans, their families, and their caregivers. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can make a difference. Wounded warriors, on the road to recovery, have noted that their journey often began with the simplest of gifts from a WWP representative – a backpack filled with essentials.
Wounded Warrior Project provides lifesaving programs and services for thousands of injured, ill, or wounded veterans and their families. Since 2003, WWP has invested nearly $2.2 billion in these programs in mental and brain health, career counseling, benefits, physical health and wellness, connection, long-term rehabilitative care, and advocacy. Warriors never pay a penny for any programs or services.
The need is great and growing. More than 220,000 warriors, family members, and caregivers were registered with Wounded Warrior Project as of September 30, 2022. Every month in 2022, more than 1,780 warriors and family members registered with Wounded Warrior Project to receive our free programs and services.
AAADM members may not be able to address some of the most pressing issues that injured service members and vets face, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, but can help in many ways such as hiring a veteran with a disability. According to Wounded Warrior Project’s 2022 Annual Warrior Survey, 4.9% of wounded warriors are employed in manufacturing and 8.4% in professional, scientific, and technical services.
Eliminating barriers to their forward progress can be accomplished in many ways and the WWP works every day to help. One barrier that AAADM members could help with is access to the built environment frequented by veterans with disabilities by replacing regular doors with automatic doors.
To learn more about the barriers and challenges facing wounded warriors, check out WWP’s Annual Warrior Survey. The survey tracks post-9/11 wounded, ill, and injured warriors' mental, physical, and financial health and measures their quality of life.
Wounded Warrior Project’s mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. AAADM and its membership can contribute to that mission. The wounded warrior deserves no less.
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