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Wounded Warrior Project: A Spotlight on the Big Media Stories from 2018

wounded warrior projectAs Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) looks ahead to another year of assisting military members and their families, it’s time to review the top news stories from 2018. The year marked the organization’s 15th anniversary.

The organization celebrated by finding new ways to help injured veterans feel empowered, uplifted, and engaged in their communities. Also during 2018, WWP significantly expanded its membership by registering 60 new veterans and military family members each day of the year.

Read on for a closer look at some of the other top news from 2018.

 

Advancing National Legislative Priorities

Since its founding over 15 years ago, WWP has been an advocate for more than half a million veterans and their families. In 2018, the organization worked tirelessly to ensure that those who have served their country receive the benefits and assistance they deserve. WWP’s 2018 advocacy efforts focused on community-based care, physical and mental health, and long-term veteran support.

Some of the legislative highlights from 2018 include the passage of the Mission Act. This law advances accountability within the Department of Veterans Affairs and gives veterans access to more health care options. In advocating for the Act, WWP mobilized thousands of veterans and military supporters while working closely with US Congress and other veteran service organizations.

Wounded Warrior Project also worked alongside the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors to ensure passage of the Families of The Fallen Service Members Act. The legislation protects a $100,000 death gratuity payment that military families receive when a service member loses their life while on active duty. Specifically, the Act ensures that grieving families receive these funds without delay under all circumstances, including during government shutdowns.

 

Leading the Military Community

In addition to advocating for national public policy that helps veterans and military families, WWP helps lead a community of partners. All these entities work to ensure that wounded veterans have local access to quality housing, employment, education, and assistance services.

In September 2018, the organization joined other community groups at the fifth annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium in Atlanta. Hosted by America’s Warrior Partnership, the event brought together hundreds of professionals from the veteran services community for three days of programming focused on veteran advocacy and support.

WWP CEO Mike Linnington spoke during the symposium. He articulated the importance of camaraderie among veterans as they recover from physical and mental wounds incurred during military service. He also discussed the critical role that local community support networks play in helping veterans heal.

Later in 2018, Linnington also addressed the audience at the Association of the US Army’s annual conference, the largest military trade show in the country. During the event, Linnington highlighted WWP’s latest work. He also presented the 2018 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award to an exceptional Army family dedicated to volunteer service.

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Challenging Warriors to Succeed

In 2018, WWP celebrated the 15th anniversary of Soldier Ride. The national program helps veterans make new personal connections and push their physical limits through cycling. Along with offering four-day cycling experiences throughout the year, the program includes Soldier Ride Across America.

The event relays teams of cyclists more than 3,300 miles from New York City to San Diego. The 2018 cross-country trek began on September 8 and finished on October 7. It gave participants the opportunity to raise awareness for veteran issues while bonding over a shared challenge.

WWP also gave supporters a new way to help veterans in 2018 by launching Carry Forward. During the 5K fitness challenge and fundraiser, participants carry a flag, weights, or another person from start to finish. WWP announced the launch of Carry Forward in May and later kicked it off with an inaugural event in San Diego on October 6. Two other events were later held in Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Increasing Treatment Options for Veterans

Another top 2018 news story from WWP involved its Warrior Care Network, which officially launched nationally in January 2016. The Network represents a partnership between WWP and four academic medical centers across the country. The goal of the collaboration is to increase access to clinical and family-centered treatment services for veterans living with combat-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

In 2018, WWP announced that it is investing $160 million in its Wounded Care Network to continue providing intensive and traditional outpatient therapy, family programming, and pilot treatment programs. To date, Network partners have completed over 92,000 hours of therapy at no cost to participants. The 2018 investment in the initiative will ensure that veterans and military families affected by PTSD, TBI, and other related conditions can continue to benefit from these free services for at least the next five years.

More information about all of Wounded Warrior Project’s latest news and activities is available at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. 

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Here Are the Latest Big Stories from Goodwill Industries’ Newsroom

goodwill logoNow in its 12th decade, Goodwill Industries continues to make an impact in communities nationwide through its programs and activities that help people live more independent and fulfilling lives. Today, corporations, staff members, and community supporters help advance the organization’s work, which focuses on providing job training for youth, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities or criminal backgrounds. As Goodwill prepares for another year of service, take a look at some of the group’s recent news highlights.

 

General Motors Invests in Job-Training Initiatives

Thanks to an investment of nearly a half-million dollars from General Motors, Goodwill organizations in three US communities are adding or expanding job-training programs for local residents. With the investment, Goodwill and General Motors have launched the GoodProspects for Careers initiative, which will be implemented at Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Goodwill Central Texas (Austin), and Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona (Phoenix).

GoodProspects will focus on building specific job skills needed in each community. In Detroit, Goodwill is partnering with Henry Ford College to help individuals earn an automotive technician certification. For their part in the initiative, Goodwill Central Texas and Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona will both offer digital skills and computer literacy training to help job seekers enter careers in the IT field.

 

Goodwill Industries Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Since its founding in 1902, Goodwill Industries has become a national leader in providing career training and support services for individuals with disabilities. Currently, Goodwill employs over 28,000 people who tackle each workday while dealing with some sort of cognitive or physical disability. Each year, the organization highlights the importance of advocating for people with disabilities by taking part in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is observed every October.

In 2018, the NDEAM theme of “America’s Workforce: Empowering All” aligns perfectly with Goodwill’s mission to help all job seekers develop the knowledge and skills needed to find employment. Goodwill commemorates NDEAM by highlighting the ways in which American workers with disabilities contribute to various industries. Goodwill also uses the month-long awareness event to call for additional support services aimed at reducing the unemployment rate among those with disabilities, which is more than double that of individuals without physical or mental impairments.

 

National and Local PSAs Celebrate Goodwill Shoppers

For the last five years, the Ad Council has partnered with Goodwill to raise awareness of the organization’s programs focused on job skills and career development. In September 2018, Goodwill and the Ad Council announced the launch of a new national ad campaign called Bring Good Home. Through print, TV, and digital PSAs, Bring Good Home highlights how each purchase made by a Goodwill shopper helps fund local initiatives that prepare people for careers in various industries, including retail, information technology, manufacturing, and health care.

In addition to the national ads, the campaign features social media activations that encourage people to share their favorite Goodwill finds using the hashtag #BringGoodHome. The advertising agency Digitas created the campaign, which is supported by digital media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Teemo. Since the Ad Council and Goodwill began its partnership, the resulting PSAs have helped drive over 360 million pounds of donations to local Goodwill organizations across the country.

 

Walmart Foundation Grant Extends Operation: GoodJobs Program

In its efforts to help veterans and military families gain financial stability, Goodwill Industries oversees Operation: GoodJobs, a national initiative that helps people overcome the sometimes-difficult transition from military service to the civilian workforce. Launched in 2012, the initiative was developed using a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation. Following a successful pilot program in two states, the Foundation provided an additional $5 million to expand services into 12 communities.

Since its launch, Operation: GoodJobs has reached over 7,800 people in California, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. In May 2018, the Walmart Foundation gave Goodwill another $5 million grant to continue the program for an additional three years. With the grant, Goodwill has expanded Operation: GoodJobs to include South Carolina. The next phase of the program will focus on providing career-development resources and job training for female veterans, who are among the fastest-growing groups in the veteran community.

 

Goodwill Takes Home Award for Social Media Campaign

Goodwill Industries recently partnered with Sony Pictures Entertainment on a social media campaign that reached millions of people through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. The Spider-Man-themed initiative challenged social media users to create their own Spider-Man costumes using materials sourced entirely from Goodwill stores and/or the organization’s online auction site, shopgoodwill.com.

The success of the campaign caught the attention of Engage for Good, which oversees the Halo Awards to acknowledge outstanding social impact programs from businesses and nonprofit groups. For its work, Goodwill was awarded the 2018 Silver Halo Award in the Best Social Media Activation Initiative category. In total, the campaign reached over 9 million social media users and chalked up an impressive 828,000 views on YouTube.

More information about Goodwill’s recent activities is available at www.goodwill.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Spotlight on the Latest News from Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectAs Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) celebrates 15 years of service, the veteran-focused organization continues to provide a variety of programs designed to enhance the lives of former and current military members and their families. In addition to improving veterans’ physical and mental well-being, WWP helps them to gain independence through social activities and career-development initiatives. The organization also oversees a variety of programs to serve the spouses, caregivers, and other loved ones who support the nation’s military members. Here is a look at recent WWP news from across the country.

 

Veterans and Supporters Participate in Inaugural Carry Forward Event

In San Diego, veterans and military supporters took part in the first-ever Carry Forward, a unique 5K fitness challenge designed to raise money for WWP programs and activities. During the event, which occurred on October 6, 2018, at Liberty Station NTC Park, participants pushed their physical limits by carrying a flag, weights, or another person while running or walking a 5K course. All participants completed the challenge as individuals or squads of three or more runners.

A total of 706 people and 140 squads participated in the 2018 Carry Forward San Diego. Their support, along with that of virtual participants, raised over $45,000, which was just shy of the event’s $50,000 goal. WWP is also holding 2018 Carry Forward challenges in Nashville and Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Soldier Ride Crosses the United States

Along with Carry Forward, WWP hosts several other fund-raisers and awareness events, including Soldier Ride Across America. Launched in 2003, the Soldier Ride program engages veterans and caregivers in multi-day adaptive-cycling events. The main Soldier Ride events occur in mid-summer, but teams of cyclists recently completed a special Soldier Ride Across America in commemoration of the program’s 15th anniversary.

During the cross-country trek, three teams biked nearly 3,300 miles in just under one month. The first team of cyclists set out from One World Trade Center on September 8, 2018, and traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, where a second team took over and began traveling to Lubbock, Texas. From there, the final team started the last leg, which finished in San Diego on October 7. Each of the 36 men and women who took part in the journey rode approximately 1,000 miles while helping to raise money and awareness for various WWP initiatives, including its job training, adaptive sports, and combat recovery programs.

 

WWP Leads Suicide Prevention Efforts

Since its inception in 2003, WWP has been committed to assisting men and women with mental health issues associated with their military service. As part of these efforts, leaders from the organization recently testified before the House Committee on Veteran Affairs to discuss approaches to meeting the unique challenges that some wounded veterans face after returning from combat.

During the testimony, Mike Richardson, WWP’s vice president of independence services and mental health, discussed how a multi-pronged approach to prevention and treatment can effectively reduce post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. He also described how WWP programs such as Warrior Care Network and Project Odyssey have been successful in assisting wounded veterans. In addition to advising Congress on suicide best practices, WWP recently launched its #ShineTheLight campaign to raise awareness of suicide among veterans.

 

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Golfers Raise Money for Warrior Care Network

Each year, the Blue Angels Foundation teams up with WWP to host the Konica Minolta Golf & Tennis Classic with the goal of helping to improve mental health care for wounded veterans. Over the weekend of October 4-7, participants in the 2018 event hit the links at Del Mar Country Club and The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Course in Carlsbad, California. A tennis tournament was also held during the weekend at the Aviara Resort’s tennis facility.

In addition to enjoying golf, tennis, and fun activities, Konica Minolta Golf & Tennis Classic participants helped to support WWP’s Warrior Care Network. The Network is a collaboration between WWP and four academic medical center partners: Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Massachusetts General in Boston, UCLA Health in Los Angeles, and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Since it launched in 2016, the Warrior Care Network has delivered over 92,000 hours of mental health therapy to veterans across the country.

 

WWP Elects New Leadership to Board of Directors

In a September 2018 press release, WWP announced that its volunteer board of directors had elected Dr. Jonathan Woodson and Kathleen Widmer to serve as its new board chair and vice chair, respectively. Both leaders are experienced board members and have a military background. Dr. Woodson is a brigadier general in the US Army Reserves, and Ms. Widmer is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who served for five years in the US Army.

In addition to electing a new chair and vice chair, WWP welcomed two new board members: Lisa Disbrow and Michael Hall. Two other board members, Anthony Odierno and Roger Campbell, departed because they had reached their term limits. WWP’s nine volunteer board members work throughout the year to assist the organization in meeting the various needs of wounded warriors.

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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A Look at the Top Policy Priorities at Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectAlongside its enrichment programs to improve the lives of veterans and their families, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) promotes a variety of advocacy initiatives to ensure that those in the military community continue to receive the government support they need. Towards this end, members of the organization’s Policy and Government Affairs team identify and campaign for policies that improve veterans’ services and assist caregivers and military families.

Over the years, WWP has played a key role in advancing legislation and policy initiatives that have improved Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and created new opportunities for veterans who require care outside of the VA. The organization’s efforts have also led to increased financial assistance, training, and healthcare coverage for caregivers and veterans living with life-altering injuries. Read on for a closer look at some of the current advocacy activities that WWP is pursuing on the local and national level.

 

Promoting the FAIR Heroes Act

Since November 2017, WWP has been leading a coalition of 15 military service organizations pushing for the passage of the Fair Access to Insurance for Retired (FAIR) Heroes Act, which was introduced by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. The Act could help veterans with serious injuries save on healthcare costs by allowing them to choose between Medicare Part B and TRICARE, a low-cost insurance plan for active military members, military retirees, and their families.

Under current law, many veterans with serious injuries qualify for both Medicare and TRICARE but are forced to purchase Medicare Part B coverage, which is nearly five times more expensive than a TRICARE plan. It’s estimated that nearly 30,000 veterans nationwide could stand to benefit if Congress passes the FAIR Heroes Act into law. Other organizations that support the legislation include the Military Order of the Purple Heart, AMVETS, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

 

Creating Support for Family Caregivers

Many post-9/11 veterans living with combat-related physical and/or mental health issues rely on the daily assistance of family members and other caregivers. Because WWP understands this fact, the organization works to ensure that caregivers have access to all the services and resources they need. WWP strongly supported the passage of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 and has since worked closely with the VA to help the department effectively implement its Caregiver Support Program.

WWP recently advocated for the passage of the VA Mission Act, which President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2018. In addition to streamlining the VA’s community care programs and healthcare delivery systems, the law contains provisions expanding eligibility for the Caregiver Support Program to more veterans. The law also requires the VA to implement information technology solutions to manage and monitor the program. WWP is now working alongside other veterans groups to ensure that the VA Mission Act receives proper funding without triggering cuts to other VA programs.

 

Enhancing Services for Female Veterans

In recent years, women have become the fastest-growing demographic in the military. They now comprise 8.7 percent of the country’s veteran population and 16 percent of WWP alumni. To help ensure the availability of programs and services tailored to the specific needs of female veterans, WWP has been advocating for the Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act of 2017.

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If passed into law, the Act would require the VA to submit an annual report to Congress on access to its female-specific services such as family planning, mammograms, and gynecological care. It would also require VA medical facilities to submit quarterly reports to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs addressing their compliance and non-compliance with environment-of-care standards for female veterans.

Along with working to improve oversight of care for female warriors, WWP is focused on creating more gender-specific peer-support programs for veterans. The organization is increasing the number of all-female alumni workshops and support groups, which are currently in high demand. WWP is also advocating for the passage of H.R. 4635, a bill that would require the VA to increase the number of counselors providing peer-to-peer services specifically for women veterans.

 

Advancing Mental Health and Toxic Exposure Research

Since its founding over 15 years ago, WWP has been leading efforts to better understand and treat combat-related mental health issues. The organization has been particularly focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), which are the most prevalent injuries facing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. In addition to working to improve mental health services for PTSD and TBI through its Warrior Care Network, WWP pushes the US Congress, the VA, and the Department of Defense (DoD) to advance research into these issues.

WWP is also advocating for more research to examine how exposure to toxic chemicals has affected post-9/11 veterans. Military members who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may have been exposed to a range of chemical and environmental hazards from fuel and exhaust fumes, chemical spills, and open burn pits used for waste disposal. WWP is currently partnering with other veterans groups to ensure that veterans and military families are aware of ongoing research as well as the risks and effects of exposure to toxic substances.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.