• Thursday, 24 January 2019

Injured Veterans Bond with Families Through Survival Game

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif: During a simulation of being shipwrecked on a deserted island, warriors and their families worked together to ensure their team's survival during a Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) event.

"It was the first time my wife and I experienced a team building event together," said Marine Corps veteran Adrian Powell. "I enjoyed building the make-shift protection from the elements by using our team's expertise and competing against a team with another warrior family I knew from a previous event."

This unique game fostered teamwork as warriors crossed a lava river, built shelters, cooked food with solar ovens, and distilled drinking water from the ocean; all with found materials. Their ultimate goal was to find a way off the island through creative collaboration.

"My favorite part of the event was learning how to crack open coconuts and drinking the water," said Justina Powell, Adrian's wife. "We found the adventure to be perfect for us. It gave us the opportunity to connect with fellow warrior families and experience something creative."

Socializing with other veterans can help injured warriors cope with stress and emotional concerns. In a WWP survey (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/survey) of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.6 percent) expressed they talk with fellow veterans to address their mental health issues.

"There were a lot of fellow Marines and their families at this event, so my husband felt comfortable and creative," Justina said. "We came by ourselves, but we'll definitely bring our young ones to the next one."

Events like this support the long-term recovery needs of warriors by reintroducing them and their families to the unique bonds experienced during military service. Connecting with fellow service members in the community creates a support structure during the healing process.

"Wounded Warrior Project means family to us because they've been so helpful and positive," Justina said. "We've had help with VA assistance, setting aside time as a couple, getting back in shape, and so much more."

WWP has been connecting, serving, and empowering wounded warriors for 15 years. To learn more, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org.