WWP-Believe-In-Heroes: The Journey of a Wounded Warrior
Did you know that 1 in 5 veterans return home from conflict living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? It is a reality that many, including my grandfather, have to face. It’s a journey not just for the returning vet, but also the family. Take, for instance, the inspiring story of Bill Jones, a Chief Warrant Officer 2 in the U.S. Army and a proud Wounded Warrior Project® Alumnus.
Bill Jones: A Beacon of Hope for Fellow Warriors
To an outsider, Bill Jones’ story is an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity. However, Bill sees himself as a beneficiary of the help and support he received from others. Now, he is on a mission to extend this support to others in need.
The Impact of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP)
“WWP impacted my life exponentially,” says Bill. “I went from being very unstable to being able to overcome the triggers of PTSD and feeling empowered for a better life.”
Bill served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Like many of his fellow service members, he never had time to process the horrifying realities of war. “You go from one mission to the next, where the next traumatic event happens, and then to the next event, on and on,” he says. “You can’t deal with it, so you don’t. You bury it. When you eventually come home, it all surfaces.”
WWP Project Odyssey®: A Lifeline for Warriors
Bill credits WWP Project Odyssey® for his transformation from being hopeless to hopeful. This outdoor, rehabilitative retreat employs a team-building approach that instilled confidence and motivation in him. It also led him to the WWP Warriors to Work® program where he was chosen from thousands of applicants to work as a camera operator with the Def Leppard and KISS tour.
Confronting Fears and Embracing Healing
Traveling with the band was a dream come true for Bill. But it also forced him to confront his fears of crowds and loud noises. “The prolonged exposure helped me re-train my mind to understand they were not a threat. None of this would have been possible without the Warriors to Work program.”
The Ripple Effect of Recovery
Bill’s recovery had a positive impact not just on him, but also on his family. “As I improved in my healing process, my family and I have grown closer together. The support has been incredible. Through Wounded Warrior Project, no warrior should ever have to give up.”
Dedication to Helping Other Warriors
Today, Bill is dedicated to helping other warriors living with PTSD. He serves as a WWP Peer Mentor and manages a personal Facebook page called “The Prisoner Within – A Look into PTSD.” He aims to dispel the myths associated with PTSD and encourage others to seek help.
Join the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes Campaign
Join the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and participating retailers and brands until November 20 as part of the #BelieveInHeroes campaign and Support the Brands that Support our Heroes. It’s a simple yet powerful way to show your support: http://wwpbelieve.org
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Wounded Warrior Project and the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign.
The Journey of a Wounded Warrior: A Personal Perspective
This article is sponsored by Wounded Warrior Project® for Believe in Heroes but the opinions expressed here are all my own. Remember, whether you’re a veteran, a family member, or a supporter, you are not alone in this journey. Stand on the shoulders of those who care, and you’ll be strong enough to help someone else.| | |
| Name | Bill Jones |
| Rank | Chief Warrant Officer 2 |
| Branch of Military | U.S. Army |
| Conflict Served | Iraq and Afghanistan |
| PTSD | Yes |
| Wounded Warrior Project Alumnus | Yes |
| Program Benefitted From | WWP Project Odyssey, Warriors to Work |
| Current Occupation | WWP Peer Mentor, Facebook Page Manager (“The Prisoner Within – A Look into PTSD”) |
| Personal Goal | To help dispel the myths associated with PTSD and help other warriors living with PTSD |
| Notable Quote | “Healing comes in many ways for a PTSD survivor, but recovery doesn’t mean that everything is all better. The key is to get help. Stand on the shoulders of those who care, and you’ll be strong enough to help someone else. Regardless of what side of PTSD you stand on, you are not alone.” |
Understanding the Role of Wounded Warrior Project®
The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is a non-profit organization that extends its support to veterans and service members who have incurred physical or mental injuries, illnesses, or wounds during their military service on or after September 11, 2001. The WWP aims to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history by providing direct programs and services to meet their needs.
The Importance of Mental Health Support
The WWP understands that not all wounds are visible. Mental health is a significant aspect of the overall well-being of an individual. For veterans like Bill Jones, PTSD is a reality that they have to grapple with upon their return from service. The WWP recognizes this and offers programs like Project Odyssey®, a mental health workshop that uses adventure-based learning to help warriors manage PTSD, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and other combat stress.
WWP’s Initiative: Project Odyssey®
Project Odyssey® is a 12-week mental health program that provides warriors with coping mechanisms and tools to manage their symptoms. The program begins with a 5-day outdoor, rehabilitative retreat that promotes peer connection, challenging activities, and healing in nature. The warriors then continue their recovery at home with the support of WWP staff and a group of fellow warriors.
Warriors to Work®: Bridging the Gap Between Military and Civilian Life
The WWP also operates the Warriors to Work® program, providing career counseling services and support to wounded warriors and their families. This program aids in the transition from military to civilian employment, equipping warriors with the right resources and tools to achieve their career goals. Bill Jones is a living testament to the success of this program.
Family Support and the Wounded Warrior Project®
The WWP understands that the family plays a crucial role in the recovery process of a warrior. As such, it offers programs that aim to nurture the family unit, providing family support and assistance in adjusting to the new normal. The positive ripple effect of a warrior’s recovery, like that of Bill Jones, is an affirmation of the value of these family-focused programs.
Peer Mentorship: Warriors Helping Warriors
The WWP believes in the power of shared experiences. Thus, it encourages recovered warriors to become peer mentors, offering guidance and support to others who are on their healing journey. Bill Jones, now a WWP Peer Mentor, uses his personal experiences to help others navigate through their PTSD.
Believe in Heroes: A Campaign to Support Our Heroes
The WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign is a joint effort by WWP and participating retailers and brands to honor and empower wounded warriors. By supporting brands that back our heroes, we can contribute to the mission of the Wounded Warrior Project®.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Wounded Warrior Project®?
The Wounded Warrior Project® is a non-profit organization that provides free programs and services to wounded veterans and their families.
2. What is the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign?
It is a campaign that encourages the public to support brands that back our heroes, thereby contributing to the mission of WWP.
3. How can I support the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign?
You can support the campaign by purchasing products from participating brands and retailers.
In conclusion, the Wounded Warrior Project® and the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign are significant initiatives that provide much-needed support to our heroes. Whether you are a veteran, a family member, or a supporter, remember that you are not alone in this journey. Stand on the shoulders of those who care, and you’ll be strong enough to help someone else.
What is the Wounded Warrior Project®?
The Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of programs, services, and events for wounded veterans of military actions following the events of September 11, 2001. It aims to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to their military service.
What is the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign?
The WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign is an initiative by the Wounded Warrior Project® and participating retailers and brands to provide support for wounded warriors and their families. The campaign encourages people to support brands that support our heroes.
What is WWP Project Odyssey®?
WWP Project Odyssey® is an outdoor, rehabilitative retreat that helps warriors with combat stress recover and transition back to civilian life. It uses adventure-based learning to help warriors build resilience, develop coping mechanisms, and establish a support network with other warriors facing similar challenges.
What is the WWP Warriors to Work® program?
The WWP Warriors to Work® program assists warriors in transitioning to the civilian workforce. It provides career counseling services and supports wounded warriors, their families, and caregivers by helping them connect with potential employers.
How can I support the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign?
You can support the WWP-Believe-In-Heroes campaign by purchasing from participating brands and retailers, donating directly to the Wounded Warrior Project®, or raising awareness about the campaign on social media using the hashtag #BelieveInHeroes.
What is the role of a WWP Peer Mentor?
A WWP Peer Mentor is a warrior who has been through the WWP programs and now uses their experience to guide and support other warriors in their journey to recovery. Peer Mentors provide emotional support, share personal experiences, and connect warriors to WWP resources.
Is the Wounded Warrior Project® only for veterans of the U.S. Army?
No, the Wounded Warrior Project® serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 from all branches of the U.S. military.
Can family members of wounded warriors receive support from the Wounded Warrior Project®?
Yes, the Wounded Warrior Project® also provides support to family members and caregivers of wounded warriors. This includes access to mental health services, career counseling, and other forms of assistance to help them support their wounded warrior.