NORTH POLE, Ala. — From frozen water carved into shapes to hot chocolate shared in mugs, wounded veterans and their families experienced a memorable day in North Pole, Alaska, recently. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) brought the injured service members and families out to spend the day together and build camaraderie.
WWP sees engagement as a key pillar to an injured veteran’s recovery. Through gatherings, sporting events, and outings, wounded service members can bond with one another and build a larger support network. WWP offers 20 free programs and services to wounded veterans to help their mind, body, engagement, and encourage economic empowerment.
While gathered in North Pole, families enjoyed watching trained professionals turn blocks of ice into different poses of Santa and his reindeer during the Christmas in Ice event.
“It is amazing to see what someone can create from a block of ice,” Jason Reudgen, an Army veteran and WWP Alumnus, said.
Michael Nash, an Army veteran and WWP Alumnus, brought his wife and children to enjoy the event on the very cold Sunday.
“The kids loved the slides and we pulled them around in the sled to view all of the completed carvings,” Michael said.
While Christmas in Ice provided a great chance for families to spend time together, it also allowed the families to spend time with other veteran families.
“I feel very comfortable around my fellow wounded warriors, and because of this I get out and do things,” Jason said.
“My wife enjoyed the two of us going down the slide together in a small sled acting like children. I pulled her around and spun her in a circle and let her go like a slingshot,” Michael said. “This brought out the kid in us.”
WWP strives to meet the changing needs of the injured population we serve. More than 80 cents of every dollar raised goes to support wounded veterans. More than 23,000 injured service members responded to WWP’s 2015 annual Alumni Survey, sharing insights into their challenges and successes. WWP uses that information to shape the lifesaving programs and services. Read the survey, or download the executive summary at woundedwarriorproject.org/survey.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.