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Wounded Warrior Project

The phrase “wounded warrior” has become a media buzzword. You hear “wounded warrior this” and “wounded warrior that” liberally splashed across stories as if it were parmesan cheese on pizza. It’s easy to tune it with the likes of “Kardasian” as vocabulary overkill.

Don’t, however, tune out The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). This civilian non-profit organization based out of Jacksonville, Florida assists injured members of the armed forces in their transition to their newly-changed lives. Its mission is to directly assist injured military personnel and their families as well as to raise awareness of the issues surrounding said personnel with the civilian populace.

WWP programs are divided into four categories; mind, body, economic empowerment, and engagement. This comprehensive approach addresses each client holistically; the client simply isn’t just an amputee, a PTSD sufferer, or a paraplegic; each client is a person, willing and eager to get back to his or her life and to participate fully in society on all levels. They just have one more obstacle to overcome; two if you count civilian reaction and undereducation regarding the capabilities of wounded veterans.

In addition to direct assistance, WWP also provides advocacy. It maintains a resource center to help guide members and their families to other programs and services they may be eligible. Their National Resource Directory contains close to 15,000 listings.

All programs are free of charge to service members injured in the line of duty after September 11th, 2001. Proof of service with a DD-214, VA award letter, line of duty documentation, or current orders is required. Registration is quick and easy online.

Charity Navigator, a well-known and well-respected non-profit rating organization, gives WWP three out of four stars; reliable and ethical, but not perfect. Reviews posted by individuals note that it spends approximately 12% on fundraising, with the main complaint being that people who made donations were getting inundated with marketing trinkets to continue to donate. In terms of financials, the WWP posts its audits, IRS forms, and financial reports on its webpage. A hefty 82% make it directly to WWP programs (ideally, 90% or more of funding goes directly to programs in a non-profit organization); a good solid program with room for growth and improvement.

Since its inception in 2003, it has assisted over 15,000 Wounded Warriors and their families across the United States and Europe. You can help, too. Register to host a fundraiser for WWP. Volunteer your time or donate financially online. If you’re a runner, WWP hosts three 8K races across the country to raise not only money but awareness in Jacksonville, Florida; Franklin, Tennessee; and San Antonio, Texas. Share the information with family and friends by “liking” WWP on Facebook.

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