Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is an awesome organization because of their resource availability. I have attended two events and all I can say is WOW. I have enjoyed both events, but even better my son has enjoyed them also.
There are now words to describe my appreciation and thanks is just not enough.
WWP Family Day Events
As an organization they did a great job focusing on the veterans and their families in both events. They understand the sacrifices that families go through living with a disabled veteran.
Tampa Bays Rays Game
I got tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox baseball game from the Tampa office.
This game was not only the final game at home in 2016 for the Rays, but it was also David “Big Papi” Ortiz’s final game at Tropicana field, so I was very excited about this.
This game was also designated as a family day game and the Rays put on a great show. You had people making balloon animals, swords, and various other things.
One balloon artist made my son a Pikachu, the Pokeman game character. The Pikachu was smaller and it was made to be worn as a bracelet.
And the funny thing is, there was a Pikachu character there taking pictures with kids. So my son wore the Pikachu as he stood next to Pikachu, it was cute.
The Rays had a place where you could make a baseball card. They will take your picture and then print out a baseball looking card with your position and name on it.
My son and I did it as a group picture, this is something I will cherish forever because I used to collect cards when I was younger.
This was all before the game, there was so much to do we didn’t even get to see the Rays swim tank.
After the game ended, the kids were allowed to run the bases, and then the Rays had a party in the outfield. It was so fun watching my son run from first to home, he enjoys running, so he was thrilled to do this.
Waking all over right field with my son was an awesome feeling. He got to run around without any reservations, I still have pieces of the turf in my shoes.
Due to the type of tickets we had, during the game we each got something from a coupon redemption place. My son got both of our gifts, a hat and a shirt. We couldn’t ask for a better day.
Thanks Rays for the memories, we will definitely go on a family day next year.
Horsing Around for Heroes
Now this event was the cream of the crop, nothing but the best for veterans. WWP teams up with a local homeowner and puts on a full day event for veterans and their families.
The home owner puts on a great show to show their appreciation for our sacrifices to the country.
WWP has so much setup to do, you are dizzy from spinning around looking at it all. There’s a bounce house for kids, a place to make your own T-Shirt, horseback riding behind the stables, swimming, and many other games throughout the day.
We started off in the bounce house, which kids absolutely love. After the bounce house we moved on to making a shirt.
My son really enjoyed making a T-Shirt, you choose a shirt then there’s a machine that spins it around as you add colors.
Some of the shirts came out looking very nice.
We all loved riding the horse Picasso, who was very docile and gentle. Like the artist’s colors on a picture he just flowed as he prodded along. Carrying person after person, you never knew it bothered him.
The kids enjoyed the sponge race, the wiffle ball game, and the watermelon eating contest. I was looking forward to the watermelon eating contest, it has always been something we’ve done at my family reunion.
Although I didn’t join in the contest, it was fun to stand back and watch.
Now we have to address the dinner that was also provided. What more could you ask for? In my opinion, absolutely nothing. An amazing steak, baked potato, and corn dinner was the coup de gras or so I thought.
We were told prizes would be raffled off, but I was expecting cheap items, boy was I surprised when the day finished. Every attendee got one raffle ticket per family.
I need to explain the gifts in detail. Mind you I say gifts, I mean trips and vacations. Most everyone got a trip or a vacation to go somewhere.
The home owner’s connections in the hotel industry are pretty solid. People were winning two say stays at expensive hotels in cities like Daytona, Pensacola, Miami, D.C., and many other areas.
Most of these were Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, and other upper level hotel names. There was no bad vacation spot given out, I would have taken any one of them.
I originally won a 2 night stay in Pensacola, but another person had won a Miami 2 night stay and we traded. She didn’t sound pleased to go back to Miami, which her family just left.
I have been to Pensacola a few times and never to Miami, so it works out for everyone.
There was an awesome family sitting with us, who had a double win. They won a D.C. trip and another city near D.C. Send us pictures K and D.
They could use both hotel stays as the drive up the east coast, which was great for them because the wife is from that area.
Besides our Miami vacation, I also won a mountain bike. This mountain bike is not a Wal-Mart brand either. This bike is Trek 3500, it sells for $300-$400, it is an amazing bike.
It is lighter than other mountain bikes and from what I read it is very much worth the money.
All in all, what more can you ask for than just having a day with family. But, WWP does ask for more. They want more for you than to have fun, they want you to have an experience. And I will say the experiences we have had were all top notch.
You are definitely missing out if you haven’t joined yet. WWP is more than just events, they also provide other tools to help vets.
I’ve heard stories of WWP helping veterans with schooling or counseling, but they also help out with so much more.
Find the office closest to you and reach out to them to see what they offer. I’m sure you will find something that they offer, that you could enjoy.
Here’s the WWP website, go to it check it out, and sign up.
Thanks to everyone in the Jacksonville and Tampa offices, I know you hear it often, but truly thanks from the bottom of my heart you have made my son and I very happy. WWP makes it feel normal to be injured and enjoy time with friends and family. Thanks and I hope to meet more of you soon.