Injured veterans and guests recently participated in a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connection event where they kayaked on picturesque Dora Canal, sometimes called "the most beautiful mile of water in the world."
Army veteran Jeremy Caldwell realized the importance of teamwork and cooperation as he and fellow warriors maneuvered down the waterway and took in the scenery.
"I love the feeling of being part of a team," Jeremy said. "We all were supportive of each other as we set a rowing pace together. Our group of warriors came from different branches of service, but we were still able to connect with each other because of our common experiences."
Warriors chatted and relaxed in the safe, natural setting and enjoyed a moderate upper-body workout from rowing.
WWP program gatherings offer settings that provide opportunities for injured veterans to form bonds with one another and their communities. WWP also serves warriors by focusing on mental and physical health and wellness, financial wellness, independence, government relations, and community relations and partnerships.
As the group floated down the canal under the canopy of century-old cypress trees, apprehension quickly faded as the warriors gained confidence using their new skills.
"Wounded Warrior Project has inspired me to get out more and attend some of their other events," Jeremy said. "Their people and programs helped bring me out of a very dark place in my life after my injury. The organization has been a guiding light for me."
In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, 30.3 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns. Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity and connecting with other veterans.