TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Even though Arizona has no ocean coastline, veterans and their families recently had the opportunity to master the art of surfing in Tempe thanks to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
WWP partnered with Big Surf to offer veterans and their families five weeks of surf sessions. While surfing is often recognized for its physical health benefits, it also promotes mental health by offering warriors the opportunity to connect with fellow service members. All WWP connection events support the long-term recovery of warriors by providing a chance to build lasting support structures.
Army veteran Jesus Ibarra said he always wanted to surf. Not only did he fulfill his dream, but he also met other service members who can relate to his struggles.
“Wounded Warrior Project has helped me meet others that battle with some of the same things I battle with daily,” Jesus said. “It helps to have someone to talk to who understands what is going on.”
George Almasan, also an Army veteran, agrees with Jesus. His involvement in WWP programs has helped him enjoy different activities while seeing the recovery aspect.
“It helps in dealing with the invisible scars we have as wounded warriors,” George said.
Attending program events like the surfing sessions can aid veterans physically, socially, and mentally. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.7 percent) talked with fellow veterans to address their mental health issues, and 29.6 percent expressed physical activity helps.