Injured Veterans March to Save Lives
GLENCOE, Ill: Warriors powered through a 20-mile ruck march and motivated each other during a recent Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) gathering for suicide prevention awareness.
"I'd say this is a form of therapy for me — to cope, reflect, pay my respect, and remember. I run for my guys that can't run any longer," said Marine Corps veteran Robert Morales. "I run so that people won't forget what we did in the sandbox."
WWP program gatherings like this give wounded warriors an opportunity to experience veteran peer support firsthand.
"After the Marines, I distanced myself," Robert said. "I pushed away from those I was deployed with — too many memories. Too many stories were brought up, and then I'd have to head home solo and relive it all. Now, I'm getting out more. I like challenging events like mud runs, shooting ranges, beach activities, and swimming."
Isolation is one of the most significant struggles wounded warriors deal with after serving their country. A supportive community makes all the difference for warriors looking to find new purpose in civilian life.
Connecting with fellow service members and people in the community gives warriors support they can count on. It creates a veteran support structure during the healing process - because wherever veterans are on their journeys, they shouldn't have to feel alone.
"When I first signed up with Wounded Warrior Project, I went to a lot of gatherings and events," Robert said. "Getting involved really helped me transition to civilian life."