Wounded Warrior Project Promotes Healing In ‘Deep Blue Sea’ Off Port Canaveral
By Space Coast Daily // July 13, 2016
Two Organizations Unite for Veteran Recovery
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The Orlando Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Peer Support Group and The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Service Platoon teamed up for a special deep-sea fishing event at Sunrise Marina in Port Canaveral, Florida.
Where injured veterans experienced firsthand what is possible when exposed to social events that get them out of the house, engaged with their service brothers and sisters, and committed to their healthy transition to civilian life.
“Sometimes veterans need to be pushed beyond their comfort zones,” said Dan Kalagain, a U.S. Army veteran who is also a WWP Peer Support mentor and leader for The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Platoon.
“This was a fun, exciting outdoor event that really motivated the warriors to get involved and engage each other – despite the size of the fish we were catching,” he joked.
Peer support plays an important role in the recovery process as injured veterans rely upon each other’s learned experiences when managing day-to-day challenges.
This special type of therapy reintroduces injured veterans to the unique bonds experienced during military service. Rarely duplicated in the civilian world, these relationships act as a secure bedrock that paves the road to recovery.
“We all had a good time,” Dan said. “In the Army, I was a first sergeant – the one everyone fears – so I was the brunt of all the jokes when I couldn’t catch a fish,” he laughed.
“When you’re around like-minded people who share similar experiences, it puts everyone at ease. The environment is more inviting, and it’s great to see what happens when veterans are in a comfortable space.”
While all WWP programs and services have aspects of a mentorship structure, the Peer Support program is specifically dedicated to ensuring every injured veteran, family member, and caregiver support one another in recovery, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another off the battlefield.
“These types of events bond us to each other,” Dan said.
“In the Orlando Peer Support Group, I have really seen changes in my brothers and sisters when they are supporting one another. When we join efforts with other service organizations like The Mission Continues, we are able to help others in need; not just veterans, but entire communities. And when veterans realize their service is not over – that there is still more of them to give – I’ve seen rekindled hope and anger turn into happiness.”
EMPOWERING WOUNDED WARRIORS
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
The WWP purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org