Warriors Find Veteran Peer Support During Laser Combat Games

Oct 08, 2018

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio: Injured veterans and guests used state-of-the-art laser guns to simulate an energy-charged combat mission during a recent Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) connection event.

"I was motivated to sign up because I was feeling lonely and disconnected from the veteran community," said Air Force veteran Tamara O'Donnell. "Working my way through the course as part of a team was a great distraction and helped lift my spirits. It was a fantastic opportunity to burn off steam and spend some time with fellow vets."

Isolation is one of the most significant struggles wounded warriors deal with after serving their country. It can be difficult knowing how to overcome that challenge and rekindle bonds similar to those formed in the military.

During the laser mission, teams explored the site's interior buildings, barriers, and sniper towers under fully integrated theatrical lighting.

"Our group was a good mixture of Army and Air Force veterans," Tamara said. "Everyone was very team-oriented, and we assisted each other to make sure we all had a great time."

Activities like laser combat and socializing with other veterans can help injured warriors cope with stress and emotional concerns. In a WWP survey (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/survey) of the injured warriors it serves, more than half of survey respondents (51.6 percent) expressed they talk with fellow veterans to address their mental health issues, and 30.3 percent indicated physical activity helps.

"Wounded Warrior Project saved my life," Tamara said. "I've spent over 35 years hiding from the hurt and pain. Through their physical health and mental wellness programs, I've shed some of my barriers and learned to live again. For the first time in my life, I feel like I deserve love. There is so much more to do, and I plan on attending artistic-type events or something like equine therapy or horseback riding."

To learn and see more about how WWP's programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org, and click on multimedia. (PRN)

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