Tri-State veterans giving back through Wounded Warrior Project
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Wounded Warrior Project has helped countless military members and families since 2003 and some Tri-State veterans are using the program’s 20-year milestone to pay it forward.
Most people take shirts, socks, and toiletries for granted, but for soldiers hurt during war, they’re much needed.
That is why local veterans are coming together to fill bags with essential items to give to their fellow wounded warriors.
“That backpack has so much meaning to it: a shirt, a pair of socks, a resource center card to show that they have someone that they can call,” says Cindy Parsons, a veteran and volunteer.
The idea to help soldiers started 20 Years ago when Army veteran Brian Neuman was hurt during the war in Iraq.
While in a military hospital, a volunteer brought him a backpack filled with clothes and other care items.
That simple act of kindness eventually evolved into the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is to support and care for injured veterans.
“I remember being deployed and seeing those bags,” recalled Stacie Parsons. “These this bag, this little bag that they get is all they have.”
Stacie retired from the military’s critical care unit in 2014.
While deployed, she says she remembered seeing those care bags for wounded soldiers, which inspired her to get involved.
“They have nothing,” Stacie explained. “They don’t have a wallet and ID when we’re triaging them and getting them from one place to another.”
Other volunteers like Wounded Warrior Project spokesperson Cindy Parsons share similar stories.
Cindy says her son was hurt in combat in 2006 and like many soldiers, struggles with PTSD.
That’s why she has helped to expand the program to offer assistance to veterans dealing with challenges that go beyond the battlefield.
“Services like mental and physical health, career benefits, long-term rehabilitation and advocacy,” Cindy said of the expanded service offered.
Over two decades, more than 240,000 wounded veterans and their families have used those services.
In fact, organizers say that nearly 75 new warriors register for the program every day.
Still, it’s a mission Cindy and Stacie say is just getting started.
Veterans in other communities are also filling bags and completing projects to commemorate the Wounded Warrior Project’s 20 years of service.
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