My families experience with Wounded Warrior Family Support was amazing from the start. Their application process was very smooth and easy to fill out to make sure you get all the information in properly. Once accepted we were able to schedule our family vacation for Oct, 2015 at the Bahama Bay Resort in Orlando for a week. Also along with the week in Orlando the organization donated free theme park tickets to the local large theme parks and a couple of gift cards to help cover cost of vacations. My family and I enjoyed the time we were able to spend together and go to some of the parks we have never be before. It's great organization and people like this that make it a lot easier to deal with some of the thing I personally and my family go through on a daily basis.
We are a family of 8. My husband is a wounded veteran and I care for him and our 6 girls. WWFS has been an amazing blessing with the help and support we have received. Wendy has been very understanding and willing to work through our issues as a family.
Wounded Warrior Family Support helped save my husbands life.
My husband is a Combat Marine, who was suffering horribly with PTSD, Night Terrors, Flashbacks & TBI. Not to mention other Combat related physical medical issues. My husband refused to seek treatment as he was the Sole provider for our family of 6.
They were instrumental in providing the help we needed, So he could get the help He needed.
Wendy, the Respite Director has been a continual support for us emotionally, and spiritually. Where would I be, and our family with out their encouragement, and support.
My husband is on the road now to Recovery. Which means, that our family is too.
God Bless Wounded Warrior Family Support. May God continue to richly bless this Non Profit, and all whom serve the Wounded Veterans and their families.
Wounded Warrior Family Support has been absolutely wonderful for our family!!! We went through so much during transition and they were there for us. We would never have been able to get through all that we faced without them!!! Even after initial contact and services they continued to contact us to check on our well being and continued to offer us services and resources! They have been truly amazing and I owe them more thanks for what they have done for my family than I could possibly give them!! Love them all so much! Thank you WWFS!! For truly caring and asking nothing in return!
I want to thank all at the Wounded Warrior Organization for the out standing trip to Bahama Bay Resort and tickets to three theme parks in Orlando, all expense paid made possible for my son's family and I. When he told me of it I was planning on driving from NC to meet them. When my son called to tell me that they were paying for my trip too as caretaker, I was blown away. Was a once in a lifetime gathering for all of us to be together and having fun.
It was a blast we had the best time didn't have to worry of nothing except to have fun and relax. It was like I was a kid again especially at Wet& Wild, I at 60 years old kept up with the young ones, not even sore the next day from all that stair climbing! Then Universal Studios got to have my photo taken with my favorite Transformer Bumble Bee, loved the ride too! Harry Potter ride was fun, but the dragon one was way too rough for me. I made a hit with my grandkids for they were wanting to ride with me! go figure grandma was the cool one! A week I will not forget! I do donate to WW and will continue to do hope everyone else does too! I pray for all service personal to stay safe.
First and foremost I just want to say that I pray that the staff at Wounded Warrior Family Support and your loved ones are in the best of health, body, mind, spirit and heart.
My sincere Thank you is not enough for what you and WWFS has done for my family and myself. We had an amazing and fun loving time at Yellowstone. The experience was just so Heavenly, especially because it involved spending it with my family. My deepest Thank you again for blessing us with such an amazing gift. Thank you for the love and care that you have demonstrated to me for the service in gave this great nation. Its because of organizations and people like yourself that I went to serve to defend this nation. You all will forever be engraved in our hearts...nothing can ever take away what WWFS has done for us. May the Lord bring an abundance of Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy to everyone that was able to make this blessing happen. Thank you again for sharing your hearts with us.
God bless you and America,
U.S. Army (SGT) retired
Purple Heart ( July 04 )
Thanking everyone involve first of all, we were some grateful and blessed to be able to take a vacation that took us outside the home. I can not even begin to express our feelings. Just to see my family all so relax having fun and even the weather was perfect all because the WWFS. Thank you for moments and memory that will last forever in our family generation of story be told. GoD bless
First of all, Thank You to everyone who made this trip possible! It was such a great & positive memory we made as a family! When dealing PTSD & TBI I always say that my spouse isn't the only wounded warrior. My kids are too. They are the lil warriors in this battle that get left unheard or forgotten. They have been through a deployment and had to say goodbye to their daddy. The next they're welcoming a stranger. They've seen him at his worst and continue to walk on eggshells. I reluctantly applied for this trip. Crowds, noise, fireworks just doesn't work for us but this was different! We did rush through the parks, picked end seats in the stands at shows, just minor adjustments. This trip made our family seem whole again. It was worry free. Dealing with him is a lot and not having to worry about the finance part of it was even better! Seeing my husband smiling and posing with characters, enjoying rides with our kids was priceless! I can never thank you enough for this opportunity. I hope to some day give back and help another family!!!!
WWFS really made myself and my family feel special. They sent us to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. The accommodations were above our expectations, and they provided everything we needed. To see the smile on my children's faces everyday, was priceless.
WWFS allowed my family to take a once in a lifetime trip to Yellowstone park in Wyoming. We had the best time, reconnected and enjoyed exploring one of our nations most incredible national parks! Every day was something new and exciting for my family and I to explore and learn. They thought of everything from travel accommodations, spending money and all lodging planning. We are so happy were were chosen and I hope more families get the chance to experience this great service for our wounded.
WWFS is an amazing organization. They sent our family on a vacation to Florida that we would otherwise have not been able to afford to make. My husband is an Iraqi war veteran that sustained a spinal cord injury and neck injury. This July he had to go in for surgery again on his back and on his neck for the first time. Thanks to WWFS we were able to go on a family vacation to Florida the end of June, where our daughters were able to spend quality time with both of us prior to my husband going in for surgery again and once again being limited in how he can interact with them.
The week vacation was amazing. WWFS took excellent care of our family and we could not have been happier. Thank you so much WWFS for everything that you have done for our family as well as for others.
As told to me by my son, a 29 year old veteran who sustained major injuries to his head, face, and body during a vbied (vehicle born explosive device) attack while serving his country in Iraq: I've just been doing the best I can do to get better to be the best father to my daughter who knows me no other way than the man I am now since she was born shortly after my injuries. I'm just a country boy who wanted to serve my country. Sometimes it gets so hard to go through another surgery but I just have to because I want my daughter to know I'm doing my best and going to be my best so she'll strive to be the best she can be. I missed so much of her life while I was in and out of hospitals and now I'm getting the chance to make up for some of that time I missed. That's where WOUNDED WARRIORS FAMILY SUPPORT helped me and my family so much. I wanted to take my daughter on a much needed time away to just focus anything not medically related, but I can't travel without the people that take care of me and her, my mom and dad. That wasn't a problem for Wounded Warriors Family Support. They provided us with the time away we needed that gave my daughter time with her daddy instead of time with her daddy when I don't have to go to another medical appointment/treatment. And they provided my need to have my parents with me.
My husband was injured in Iraq on Veteran's Day 2005. He lost his right leg below the knee and severely fractured his left ankle. Since then, our family has been under a lot of stress, both emotionally and financially. We have two children and hadn't ever been on a vacation. We heard about Wounded Warriors Family Support through another veteran and his family and decided to put in an application for a family vacation. We were so excited to see that one of the vacations offered was to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was my husband's dream vacation and had been his whole life. Shortly after we put in the application we were contacted by the organization. They set up everything from flights to hotels to money to help with trip expenses. Our family's week in Yellowstone was the best week of our lives. My husband was happier than I have seen him in a long time. We have been back for about a month and he has been just as happy. I think the vacation that Wounded Warriors Family Support was just what our family needed. It provided us a week of stress free fun and we are forever grateful to this organization.
WWFS has been a Godsend to my family. I was introduced the organization from Hearts of Valor when I was invited to attend a conference to learn more about my husbands illnesses and how to better take care of myself. WWFS has changed my life. After 3 years of caring for my husband who requires more than 40 hours of care weekly, with no break, I was beginning to suffer from caregiver burnout. WWFS provides me regularly scheduled respite care. The VA pushes the necessity of respite care as part of self-care in their Caregiver training and certification but never advises on how to obtain it. I called various organizations that could care for my husband so I could get a break here and there especially over the last year and honestly could not afford any of their rates. They all charged double what the VA covers with the caregiver stipend. Being a woman with so many demands already caring for my husband, I can't call a hundred places to find one that fit's in my budet. WWFS worked diligently to meet every one of the character traits and qualities to find a caregiver that would be necessary to match the needs of my husband and children. They were able to find someone that my husband is comfortable with and that my children feel loved, understood and encouraged by. WWFS found someone that could come in and feel like family. WWFS is meeting a huge and what I find neglected need for Veterans. What they do is really lifesaving. It is saving marriages which is potentially saving the lives of our heroes by offering us women who love, respect and honor our husbands enough to stand by their sides through every trial room to breathe. I can't thank them enough.
Review from CharityNavigator
Impressive doesn't seem to be quite fit the word, nor does excellence, efficient and speedy! WWFS has been more than that to my family. It has become my rock when I had no where else to turn to. Not only did WWFS (Wendy) help me with education on some subjects such as TBI when trying to cope with new changes in my husband (wounded 06-07 Iraq), she immediately came in, took charge and helped me to ease some of the fears I had as a spouse, mother and caregiver. Realizing the stress I had, she helped me get my respite care and helped provide someone who could come in and take care of my family while I was gone. Wendy also helped me get through the application process for the flight costs and Air Compassion for Vets. She knew my biggest fear was being the only one carrying my family through all this and what a weight it can bear on the person doing everything for everyone at all times. She even made sure the night before my plane ride to respite, I didn't have to cook dinner for my brood. It had been soooo very long since someone just talked to me, helped me help myself which is something I hadn't quite learned just yet and because we are a little further back in years, they didn't mind at all because we didn't have to be judged just on "less than 24 months of injury". WWFS is helping me with a care plan so I may have much needed surgeries, much needed time to myself and help me get myself back to me. WWFS has exceeded beyond my cynical view of some organizations that help Veterans and their families. I mean that, so many times we were turned away and I wasn't sure why when we were just like everyone else. They not only took us in when I needed a family but, they have continued to call me and check in and just chat. Sometimes that adult conversation is the highlight of my week! I haven't participated in the retreat yet or used any of their programs but, they have been offered to my family. I would bet my last dollar that they exceed anyone's expectations just like what they have done for us. It is very easy for a non--profit to take in a lot of money, shell out so many checks to veterans and their families and then their job is done. The reason WWFS has my recommendation and review is because they went above and beyond to make sure we felt like we mattered, they cared about my Veteran and his family members. Often we families get lost in the shuffle so it was nice to have someone ask ME how I am feeling or doing. Colonel and Wendy and all who help, have been nothing short of a small miracle for my family and look forward to working with them some more. I hope my review helps anyone willing to help this non-profit financially will look at all aspects that sometimes money isn't what we need all the time and often, we get what people think we need. WWFS asks what we need, then takes charge to make sure it gets done. They didn't leave us behind and to me, that says it all right there. Thank you so much Wendy, Colonel and WWFS for taking us into your family and organization. It's appreciated far more than you realize. Kat and The Honaker Family (Rural Moo-Cow Town that's lost in TN)
Living with PTSD and TBI (www.armyreservistwife.blogspot.com)
Review from CharityNavigator
My husband is a OEF Combat Veteran. He has multiple injuries sustained in 2007, including PTDS (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), as well as multiple physical injuries as well. I was introduced to WWFS in mid 2012 through Hearts of Valor (another organization for families of Wounded Warriors). I was given help through WWFS to attend a Caregivers Retreat for Hearts of Valor. Wendy Tatro has been so amazing from the very first conversation we had! Not only did I get respite care for the retreat, but she has also looked for help for our family to move (twice in 4 months) as well as getting our family on-going in home respite care! I have told quite a few of my fellow Wounded Warrior friends about WWFS, and I know they have received help as well! I believe this organization is one of the best for military/post-military families, because they have the families at heart, and not profit, not "getting a name" for themselves. They have proven to me and my family that they truly do care for our military and those who have served, and want to provide the very best for these families. I am looking forward to the on-going care that they provide for my family, as well as the help I know other families are getting as well.
Thank you Wendy and WWFS!! You truly have changed our lives for the better, and have shown us, and our friends that there are still heart-filled people out there who truly want to give back to our military!
Review from CharityNavigator
My name is Kacy, I am the wife of a disabled veteran, who served in the Marine Corps. My husband did two tours in Iraq. He suffers with PTSD and has a Purple Heart. I am a mom of four girls and pregnant with a boy. Wendy Tatro from the WWFS, got in contact with me and invited me to lunch. I met with her and another wife of a disabled veteran. It was really great to go and meet this ladies. One, I never get out and do anything for just me. Two, it was nice to be around people that knew what I was going through. 3, WWFS treated us to getting our nails done. I haven't had my nails done in so long (years). It was nice to not feel overwhelmed and be able to just relax. WWFS helps me feel free of the everyday stress just through a lunch date and conversation. I am thankful for that alone. I do not have close friends, and often feel isolated. I often feel that people don't understand just how bad, war, has affected of lives. WWFS without judgment, understands and is there to listen when you need to vent. Thank you WWFS and thank you Wendy Tatro.
Review from CharityNavigator
Wendy Tatro from WWFS helped me to attend a Hearts of Valor retreat in San Diego this past March, 2013. To be selected to attend the retreat was such a blessing and when they told me that there was support to help me pay for child care I was floored. Life can be so overwhelming as the spouse of a disabled warrior and a mother of a one year old. The idea of leaving for a weekend seems out of reach most of the time. The last time I had left, the caregiver who was supposed to help out with my husband made a real disaster of the situation. This situation included care for my husband and son. I need to have people that I trust and I do but of coarse it gets very expensive for a weekend.
Not only did WWFS make it possible for me to attend the retreat which was so helpful, but she talked to me about my role as a caregiver and validated my experiences of challenge. She gave me a lot of helpful advice as someone who has tremendous experience herself. She also gave me hope that maybe some day my family can get some support to go on vacation, where it would be connected to the military so my husband might be willing to go. He is still recovering from his time as a soldier, and it's hard to get him our of the house to do anything new.
Well, to make a long story short, the really amazing part about the help I received from Wendy and WWFS is that it really touched my heart to feel that people care enough to make sure I get a little break from my tough job. I learned so many things that I really needed to know on the retreat. Things that I was having a hard time finding on my own. Wendy also enlightened me with information that really helped.
That weekend and the care I received from Hearts of Valor and WWSF strengthened me to continue to do my best to care for my husband. Slowly but surely, things are improving from the love and care that we have received from these groups.
So thank you! You do make a difference.
Review from CharityNavigator
My husband was injured initially in Afghanistan in 2009. Over the last few years he has had multiple surgeries and was in a coma last year that contributed to him developing ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) which is similar to TBI, he has multiple incomplete spinal injuries and a myriad of other health issues that all stem from his injury in Afghanistan and the subsequent treatment. My husband requires full time care due to his injuries/illnesses- and this falls to me as his wife. On top of being my husbands full time care giver I also have 2 of my 5 kids who live at home, and my youngest son has 2 behavioral disorders and my daughter has special needs and health issues of her own. I also work part time to help with the finances in supporting our family and I do some volunteer work with other wounded warrior families as well. I am telling you this because I want you to understand how full my life is,which means that there is no "me" time, or time for me to be able to regroup. Caregiver burnout is a very real threat to myself and my family. Even though my journey in life the last few years has been very hard and very rough, the Wounded Warriors Family Support team has contributed to making it so much more bearable in the last few months (since I enrolled with their program).
I was able to go on a retreat for wounded warrior caregivers at the end of March because WWFS brought in a wonderful, professional caregiver to care for my soldier. For me to be able to go to the other side of the country and know that the love of my life, the light of my universe was in caring and competent hands was the biggest factor that allowed me to go on this weekend retreat. This retreat went a long ways in delaying caregiver burnout for me thus far. Not only has WWFS provided a caregiver for my retreat but at other extremely stressful times as well, and a few times just because I needed a day to myself. Being a full time caregiver of a wounded warrior is very hard, very very hard- regardless of how much you love your solider-your relationship with them is completely different then that of a couple who doesn't have this same kind of relationship. If I didn't have WWFS on my side and in my corner I wouldn't be able to cope as well as I do with my situation in life. Wendy Tatro-Walker and her team has provided so much support, emotionally, personally and physically (by providing a caregiver when I need a break) that if I won the lottery I would donate every penny to them to continue this project for the future and for other caregivers. I really can not stress how amazing and wonderful and supportive this organization is and how this organizations programs have enabled me to be a better, healthier,happier wife,mother and caregiver-by providing a professional caregiver that I can feel safe leaving my family with when I need one.
Not only do they do this, but they are also sending our family on a trip at the end of August to Orlando,Fl for a family vacation. This is the very first time that we have been offered the opportunity to take a vacation as a family. Being the family of a wounded warrior affects not only my soldier and myself, but my children also. It guarantees that our children don't have the same kind of childhood that most parents dream for their children.Our families plans and goals for life have been changed so dramatically by the injuries/illnesses that my solider suffers from because he is not able to do the normal dad-kid things that other kids get to do with their dads. So this trip to FL for a week, where they have the appropriate accommodations for my husband that will also allow us to make amazing and lifelong family memories is a blessing that we are very thankful for. Again, this wouldn't have been possible with out the WWFS and their volunteers.
Review from CharityNavigator
My husband is a two-time combat veteran. As a result of his service, he now has multiple injuries, including PTSD and a brain injury. Since his return in 2008, my day-to-day life has been one battle after another - fighting to get him the proper discharge, fighting to get him his VA benefits, fighting to get him proper care, and fighting against the self-loathing and apathy that pulled him down so low that he couldn't see the point in trying to recover. As his caregiver, and the mother of two small children, it felt like I was all alone, that I had ceased to matter except in regards to the needs of others. While it was, in some ways, rewarding, it was also frustrating, depressing, and unbelievably stressful.
A friend recommended me to WWFS. I balked at first; my experience with non-profits serving the veteran community had been nothing but negative, and had never yielded any kind of measurable result. My husband does not have a Purple Heart. He declined it, for complicated reasons, and that has often led to organizations treating us as lesser or simply ignoring us altogether. I wasn't up to another fight that was going to end in disappointment, especially when the beneficiary wasn't my husband or children, but me. As I said, in my mind, I had ceased to matter as a person. However, my friend persisted, and I finally agreed.
From the very beginning, Wendy (the Respite Director) was wonderful to work with. She took the time to listen to my story - not just my husband's, but mine. She understood my stress, and asked the question : "What can I do to help you"? I'd heard it before. The difference is, this time, the person asking followed through.
Wendy spent a lot of time screening potential childcare providers, looking for someone that would fit the criteria we set, while also understanding my family's unique situation. She never recommended somone just to get the job done. She kept searching until we found the perfect person. As a result, I can now tend to my own health and take part in the counseling that I so badly need to help me deal with the stress that comes from caring for a wounded veteran. For the first time in five years, I have the kind of help and support that actually *helps*. The relief I feel is incredible, and I am immensely grateful for WWFS. This is exactly the kind of support that families like mine need. It provides real support, not lip-service or false promises. I feel incredibly blessed to have been helped this way. It means more than I can really say.
Review from CharityNavigator