wounded warrior, woman in red hugging soldier

The Wounded Warrior Project

I have a black throw that I keep in the back of my car. I use it for such events as little league games, impromptu trips to the park or to cover the upholstery when the dog is in the car. It is a blanket I received when I signed up to make monthly donations to the Wounded Warrior project.

My son spent a year in Afghanistan with his Army Reserves unit. He returned with little to say about the deployment except for a few comical anecdotes and descriptions of the people he had met. As months passed, little by little, we began to hear more about his experiences. I knew then that what he had witnessed had probably changed him deep in his soul. Physically, however, he returned unscathed.

Not everyone is so fortunate

It is not hard to imagine how altered our lives would be if things had gone differently. When our son returned from his deployment, he hung out with his friends, spent his combat pay, and met the woman he would marry. We all essentially returned to our lives as they were.

Hundreds of thousands of men and women are not so lucky. They return from military conflicts with brain injuries, missing limbs, devastating scars, and debilitating PTSD, among other conditions. Perhaps worst of all, they return feeling lost and alone.

The Wounded Warrior difference

Service members who reach out to the Wounded Warrior Project find the support of those who truly understand. That’s because Wounded Warrior Project programs match veterans with other veterans so there is already a connection. Those warriors who may be reluctant to seek help will find there are others who have endured what they have suffered and who now want to share the skills and resources they have gained. Many who have gone through the WWP programs find they want to be on the other side. They want to reach out to their brother and sister warriors who are still fighting their private battles.

Families can receive help, too. A spouse or parent who is unsure how to care for a loved one returning from military service with life-changing injuries can find assistance and guidance through a variety of WWP offerings.

Anyone can help

Donating to WWP is quite easy through their website. However, there are numerous ways in which people can offer a small thanks to the men and women who truly offered their lives for the cause of freedom. Fundraisers, partnerships, planned giving and other options allow those who want to share their resources to maximize their offerings.

It is devastating to read on the WWP website of the personal stories of some of the men and women who return from military service with horrific physical and psychological injuries. Nevertheless, these inspiring stories can remind us that there is always hope when people look beyond their own small lives to what they can do to make the world a better place.

Published by Hot Mess Press