If you can’t witness the soft orange, reddish pinks, and variations of yellow melted into a Florida sunset, why not take a brush to canvas and bring the calming colors home. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) recently brought a group of wounded veterans and their families together in Melbourne, Fl, to share and create their version of a painted sky. Meeting in relaxed environments with peers who share common bonds is a key support initiative for the WWP Alumni program.
WWP family support member Kathy Hannon looked forward to getting together with others involved with WWP almost more than painting. “I have met some great people, and it’s nice to talk with others who know what you are feeling and going through; who truly understand.”
Many wounded service members face similar challenges adjusting to their injuries and civilian life. By bonding through events and programs, wounded veterans learn they are not alone. The Alumni program is offered to wounded service members, their caregivers, and family support members free of charge.
“Meeting fellow wounded warriors and their families is the main reason we wanted to attend this event. We wanted to visit with others who understand us and life after the military,” said Omayra Feliciano, who attended with her husband, U.S. Army veteran and WWP Alumnus Rafael Omayra. “But, we are pretty proud of our paintings. We hung them in our dining room to be a talking point for many years to come.”
A few guests from the group came to the event skeptical of their artistic abilities. But with the step-by-step instruction of a professional and friendly support from fellow Alumni, each participant departed with their Floridasunset masterpiece.
“The WWP staff has been great at every event I’ve attended. They create such an open and engaging environment,” Kathy said. “I liked seeing more than 20 variations of sunsets created by people in my new support system.”
Knowing several Alumni from other events, Kathy said it sometimes feels like a school reunion. “It’s a lot of fun catching up on what’s happened since we last talked,” she said. “I really enjoy the events. They have been a wonderful stress reliever and re-charge me to handle the speed bumps that life hands out for a while.”
Kathy is a strong supporter of WWP for what the organization has done for her son. WWP reached out her son when he needed help after returning from service. “I can’t promote Wounded Warrior Project enough, and I appreciate knowing the support is there if it’s needed,” Kathy said.
Along with engagement opportunities, WWP programs help put wounded veterans in meaningful careers of their choice. Warriors to Work® matches skills with employers, helps injured service members with resumes, and prepares them for interviews. Warriors to Work served 2,549 wounded veterans, caregivers, and family support members in April 2016.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s 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. – USNewswire