CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project.
By PTSDJournal Staff
How many members do you have?
Wounded Warrior Project serves more than 110,000 injured veterans and more than 26,000 family support members and caregivers. There are no fees for participating in programs or receiving services.
What makes WWP unique?
Wounded Warrior Project started with a group of friends and veterans, stuffing comfort items into backpacks in a basement in Roanoke, Virginia, and handing them out to wounded veterans coming off of battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan at Walter Reed Military Hospital. The Wounded Warrior Project has been connecting wounded veterans and empowering them to live their lives on their terms.
How does WWP address PTSD?
We have a service called Warrior Care Network. It’s a partnership between the Wounded Warrior Project and four national academic medical centers that offer treatment for invisible wounds at no cost to the veteran and includes the warrior’s family in treatment options.
What resources does WWP put toward Traumatic Brain Injury?
Our Independence Program is designed for warriors who rely on in-home care from their families or caregivers because of moderate to severe brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other neurological conditions.
We bring the warrior and his or her full support team together to create an individualized plan focusing on goals that provide a future with a purpose that can also adapt to the warrior’s ever-changing needs.
How does WWP tackle the high veterans’ suicide rate?
One of the biggest obstacles wounded warriors face is isolation and the Wounded Warrior Project connects warriors with their peers and communities in regular events aimed at increasing resilience and social support. These events can be as simple as gathering veterans together for a game night or taking warriors to outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, hunting, or even kayaking.
What program has been the most successful?
From what I’ve seen in my role, there has been a lot of positive feedback on our connection events and Soldier Ride, which are multi-day cycling events held across the country.
What is the financial health of the organization after the shakeup in 2016?
WWP is recognized as an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau, and we received a top rating from Charity Navigator and hold a GuideStar Platinum rating.
Provide a profile of a WWP donor?
It’s hard to nail down what the average donor looks like because there’s so much sociological, economic, and demographic diversity within that group. They come from all walks of life, from across the country—college students going to school in Texas, retirees from New York, a middle-class family in Vermont, or a Vietnam veteran from California.
Does the organization’s growth indicate displeasure with VA services?
I do not believe so, but I understand challenges with the VA can motivate wounded veterans to look for additional support elsewhere. Wounded Warrior Project works hard to fill gaps in care and supplement the services provided by the VA. We have a program that has connected wounded veterans with millions of dollars in secured benefits—all of which come through the VA.
How does WWP support a veterans family?
Our team supports warriors living with physical and mental health conditions to ensure they receive their full range of benefits. These families can also engage in the programs and services we offer and receive peer support from other caregivers and families. We are also supporting them in our policy efforts, and we believe expanding VA’s Family Caregiver Program to all generations can, and should, be achieved with careful management and appropriate funding.