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Wounded Warriors and VCU Student Veterans Work Together on Mind-Body Wellness
RICHMOND, Va., July 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterans from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Virginia Commonwealth University's (VCU) Military Student Services are changing the way they collaborate and support each other on their journeys to physical and mental health.
The veterans gather monthly at VCU's gym for a group interval workout. Army veteran Ben King added another dimension by incorporating a memorial to fallen warriors to inspire and motivate participants.
"At the first workout, we took a mindful moment to name fallen warriors out loud, acknowledge their sacrifices, and share goodwill and gratitude for their lives," Ben said.
Ben brought a memorial to the center of the gym that included yellow ribbons with the name of Army Capt. Andrew Ross, who was killed in action in Afghanistan and was the son of VCU Military Student Services Director Stephen Ross.
"It was emotional because of what I've been through," said Army veteran Kelly Gale. "It reminds you to be thankful that you're here and be grateful for the people who help us out. Ben made a memorial for all veterans but especially for Andrew. You could go up, take a ribbon, and read the name. I said the names of the soldiers I lost."
Kelly found emotional and physical reasons to make the most of the workout. "Stepping up on the square was challenging. Everyone was motivated and upbeat. We get to know each other, and it's another type of accountability where you can check in with friends and get a good workout."
In a WWP survey (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/survey) of the wounded warriors it serves, 32.6 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity is one of the things that helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns. Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity and connecting with other veterans.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project