GETTING AMERICAN HEROES BACK “IN ACTION”
Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, Inc. (WWIA) demonstrates to Purple Heart recipients that they can still accomplish milestones in their lives after returning home from combat, regardless of the severity of their injuries. The goal of WWIA is to encourage our American Heroes to get back “In Action” by providing them world-class outdoor sporting activities which connect them to nature, uniting them with other combat wounded veterans, and surrounding them with American sportsmen and women who genuinely care about their well-being and recovery efforts. Their activities improve self-reliance, bolster their self-confidence, and instill a sense of belonging to a group so as to promote mental and physical healing.
This mission is accomplished by pairing up small groups (3-8) of Wounded Warriors with American Sportsmen host groups for world-class sporting events lasting three to five days. These events are structured to enable the Heroes to discover what they can still accomplish despite their injuries, recreate the deployment camaraderie, group them with veterans in similar circumstances and experience the community’s recognition for what they sacrificed. Additionally, WWIA sends a proven, certified WWIA Associate as a mentor and guide for combat-wounded Heroes. These mentors are alumni of the program who share similar outdoor interests and have demonstrated that they can provide emotional support to the Heroes beyond the length of the project.
WWIA was established in 2007, granted 501c3 Non-Profit status in 2009, and has been changing the lives of both American Heroes and American Sportsmen across the country ever since. WWIA now serves approximately 150 Purple Heart recipients each year in 35 states as well as in Canada, and more recently, Mexico, through a strong network of volunteers across the country. Opportunities like hunting bear and elk, salmon fishing in Washington State, pheasant hunting in South Dakota, halibut fishing in Alaska, muskie fishing in Wisconsin and gator hunting in Florida provide Heroes with a wide variety of events that fulfill life-long dreams.
The WWIA is truly helping these wounded warriors through our programs. They receive hundreds of first-person testimonials from those they serve:
“Thank you for the amazing experience that you guys provided. I was really on the fence about going because of my issues and was terrified to be around people that I didn’t know or serve with. John and crew were amazing, caring, and understanding people. I left the camp feeling like John had earned my trust which is not an easy for me. I really am feeling a lot happier and motivated to make a change in my life. “ ~Andy C, US Army.
“I don’t have the words to properly describe exactly what the trip meant to me during this stressful time in my life. I was facing medical retirement from the Military in which I have spent the majority of my adult life. At times, this period of my life seems dark and helpless, but this trip has brought light and hope to me. I was given the opportunity to build relationships with fellow Veterans who have also transitioned from the military and have done so successfully. They offered advice and insight for my journey into the unknown and have helped me to find comfort and see that there is always life and hope around every blind curve. This experience has proven to be one of the most invaluable ones of my life.” ~C. Pedro, US Army.