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A Look at the Results of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Latest Survey

As part of its efforts to provide programs and services that meet the changing needs of veterans, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) conducts an annual survey of service members who have sustained combat-related injuries. Now in its ninth year, WWP’s Annual Warrior Survey collects data on respondents’ physical and mental health, employment, health care options, and day-to-day challenges and successes.

The results of the most recent Warrior Survey were released during a special panel discussion held at The Brookings Institution in December 2018. Keep reading for an overview of the top takeaways that WWP will use to guide future programming.

 

About the Survey Respondents

In conducting its ninth Annual Warrior Survey, WWP reached out to over 98,000 of its veteran members between March 20 and May 14, 2018. The efforts resulted in completed surveys from 33,067 respondents, which is the largest group since the survey was first conducted in 2010.

Among those who completed the survey, 83.5 percent were men with an average age of just under 40 years old. The majority of respondents, (66.6 percent) were Caucasian followed by Hispanics (18.5 percent) and African Americans (14 percent). Other races/ethnicities represented in the survey included American Indians or Alaskan Natives (5.3 percent), Asians (3.6 percent), and Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders (1.7 percent).

Of the respondents, only 6.4 percent reported that they are currently enlisted in the military while nearly half (45.3 percent) stated that they were deployed three or more times during their military career. Over three-quarters of the respondents also reported that their previous military experience continues to affect their day-to-day lives in adverse ways.

 

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Physical and Mental Well-Being

One of the biggest takeaways from WWP’s 9th Annual Warrior Survey is that over 78 percent of respondents stated that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is their main health challenge. The other most commonly self-reported injuries and health effects from the survey included sleep problems (75.4 percent); back, neck, and shoulder issues (73.7 percent); and depression (70.3 percent). Over 32 percent of respondents reported that they required at least some assistance from another person because of their injuries or health issues, and approximately one-quarter of respondents stated that they needed 40 hours or more of assistance each week.

In addition to assessing their mental and physical health issues, the Annual Warrior Survey questioned respondents about how their health affects their daily activities. More than 7 out 10 of the warriors surveyed reported that their health limits them at least somewhat in their daily activities, and over 80 percent stated that they aren’t as productive as they’d like to be due to their physical health or emotional problems. The majority (89.8 percent) of those reporting physical injuries or emotional problems also stated that their health issues adversely affect their social activities with family and friends.

 

Access to Care

Fortunately, over 75 percent of respondents reported having health insurance through the VA. The number represents a steady increase over previous years. More than two-thirds of those with VA insurance stated that the organization is their primary health care provider. While one-third of the respondents stated that they had problems accessing physical and behavioral health care services through the VA, most of the reported issues were related to scheduling conflicts.

 

Social Support Snapshot

Along with obtaining care through the VA and other organizations, many veterans with mental and/or physical health issues benefit from the ongoing support of family and friends. In fact, over 80 percent of respondents to the Warrior Survey stated that they had people in their lives who are available to help when they need them.

Many warriors who took part in the survey also cited how beneficial it was for them to interact with other veterans, particularly those who share similar experiences related to post-9/11 military service. In addition to promoting social integration, these interactions helped veterans to address the mental health issues that they dealt with on a regular basis. Over 52 percent of the survey respondents stated that they relied on other veterans as a source for improving their well-being. Many of the respondents also used the survey comment section to encourage WWP to provide more opportunities for these types of interactions.

 

Building on Successes Going Forward

In addition to demonstrating that many veterans benefit from a strong social network, the results of WWP’s Warrior Survey highlighted other veterans’ successes that are worth celebrating. For one, the survey showed that the number of veterans with a bachelor’s degree or higher continues to increase. Approximately one-quarter of survey respondents reported being currently enrolled in a higher education program, and over 70 percent of them are pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, or professional/doctorate degrees.

Beyond their efforts to attain additional education, more warriors are finding employment. While there are still barriers that make it difficult for some to get a job, the unemployment rate among veterans has dropped considerably in recent years. Improved employment numbers are also translating to a higher percentage of homeowners. Among the veterans who responded to the survey, 60 percent reported that they are homeowners. This represents a 14 percent increase since 2014.

Currently, WWP is using the takeaways from its ninth Annual Warrior Survey to better meet the needs of the veterans and military families that it serves. To learn about how you can advance WWP’s mission, visit 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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veteran

How to Support the Purple Heart Foundation

purpleheartfoundationLaunched over six decades ago, the Purple Heart Foundation is one of the four divisions comprising the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of veterans and their families. While its main mission is to raise funds in support of MOPH programs and activities, the Foundation operates independently and directs funding to other initiatives outside of the Order. In fact, the group raises funds for various nonprofits working in the area of veterans’ services.

If you’re looking to advance the Purple Heart Foundation’s mission to support, counsel, and advocate for the nation’s military families, you have several options for becoming involved with the organization. Even those with limited resources can make an impact. Here are the top ways that you can support the important work of the Purple Heart Foundation:

 

Give Financially

Like all nonprofit groups, the Purple Heart Foundation relies on a combination of government support and private donations in order to continue operating. One of the easiest ways that you can join the Foundation’s group of supporters is by making a one-time or recurring donation through its secure online portal. The organization welcomes donations of any amount via credit card.

When you make a donation, you even have the option of giving in honor or in memory of a loved one. You can rest assured that your funds will be put to good use because the Purple Heart Foundation was recognized with the 2018 Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. To access the donation portal, visit www.purpleheartfoundation.org/donation-direct-support.

 

Support Purple Heart Cars

Do you have an unused car that is taking up valuable space in your driveway? You can free up the space while supporting a worthy cause by donating your vehicle to the Purple Heart Cars program. Donating your vehicle to the program is a simple process that starts with filling out a form with your last name, email address or phone number, and zip code. You can also call the Foundation at (800) 414-4483 to initiate the donation.

Once the Foundation receives and accepts your donation request, arrangements will be made to have the vehicle towed at a time that fits your schedule. All donors receive a donation receipt when their vehicle is picked up, and individuals whose vehicle are sold for more than $500 will receive an IRS tax receipt that can be used for a tax deduction.

 

Put Old Items to Good Use

In addition to accepting vehicle donations, the Purple Heart Foundation oversees a thrift store operation that raises money for military families by selling donated clothing and household items. As part of the thrift program, the Foundation and MOPH partnered with GreenDrop, an organization that collects donations on behalf of various charities.

Currently, the Purple Heart Foundation accepts thrift donations in several states, including Alabama, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Donations are also accepted in Virginia, New York, Wisconsin, Washington, DC, the Houston area of Texas, and the Detroit area of Michigan.

To donate in one of the service areas, you can simply pack your items in plastic bags or boxes and schedule a pickup. You can also drop the items off yourself at one of the many GreenDrop donation sites. Before packing your donation box, it’s important to take note of what is accepted.

The Purple Heart Foundation welcomes donations of gently used clothing and shoes; toys and games; and various household items, including kitchenware, bedding, small appliances, and home decor. While furniture is also accepted, the pieces must weigh less than 50 pounds each. A complete list of acceptable items is available at www.purpleheartpickup.org.

 

How Purple Heart Foundation Donations Benefit Veterans

Whether you provide a monetary donation or choose to donate physical items, you can rest assured in knowing that your contribution to the Purple Heart Foundation will provide support for a worthy cause. Much of the Foundation’s work is focused on the MOPH Service Program, which ensures that veterans and their families receive the government benefits and services they deserve. This includes pensions and compensation for medical care, education, and job training. Veterans whose benefits claims have been denied can also receive free legal representation through the program.

Other MOPH activities supported by the Purple Heart Foundation includes its grant initiatives. MOPH grants help to support research programs that aim to improve the lives of injured service members. In addition, the organization directs grant funds to provide scholarships for Purple Heart recipients and their families.

With the backing of its supporters, the Purple Heart Foundation also advances programs that operate outside of MOPH. This includes the NEADS Service Dogs for Veterans program, which provides highly trained service dogs at no cost to veterans with physical disabilities, hearing loss, and combat-related stress disorders, among other conditions. Foundation funding has also been used to support programs at nonprofits such as the Chapel of the Four Chaplains and the United Service Organizations.

 

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.

woman

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. 

business

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.