I spent 10 years in the Marine Corps and left as a SSgt in late 2012. I received my PH from a mortar blast in Iraq in 2006. Back in 2010 I came across www.wwiaf.org and it literally changed my life. I grew up hunting and fishing but hadn't done much of either for close to a decade while I served. The founder of WWIA himself (Mr. John McDaniel) called invited me on a musky fly fishing trip in the northwoods of Wisconsin in 2010. To be honest at first I thought it was a scam but I gave it a shot and had the trip of a lifetime! Fast forward a few years and now I'm blessed to be able to help share more of these events with my brothers. True healing occurs on these trips and finding an awesome organization like Wounded Warrior's in Action has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I'd be willing to bet money that hundreds of PH veterans would agree with me 110%. I'm a better man today because of John McDaniel and the many WWIA Associates I've been able to sit around a camp fire in the woods with.
The WWIAF (Wounded Warriors In Action Foundation) is a mission driven Foundation with all the right motives. After serving in the US Army and struggling after Deployment to Iraq where I was struck with Enemy Mortar Shrapnel, civilian life and full time employment was just covering up the wounds that were held deep within. My physical scars had healed but emotionally my body was a wreck. In 2011, I received a phone call from WWIAF HQ, and was asked to attend a Hunting Event in Missouri. The call came only two days after being released from the VA Medical Center's psychiatric ward where I was seeking "help". Someone was truly looking out for me, because the event in Missouri showed me the camaraderie, love and inner peace I felt during service. The brotherhood and bond amongst one-another was real again. The network of support that the Foundation has created is phenomenal. Through the power of the outdoors and how its ability to naturally heal from within, the WWIAF and I are now eternally bonded. For the past 6 years I have been an active volunteer and owe my gratitude to John McDaniel, the founder, a brother in arms, my friend. I highly recommend being a part of this Foundation as it is much more than just a hunt or fishing trip, it is a true resource for continuing life.
I first got involved with WWIAF 3 years ago, when I was asked to attend a Whitetail Hunt close to my hometown. I was excited for the opportunity and a little nervous on what to expect. I quickly realized they were not like the others. No one pressured me for my story, or forced some sort of therapy on me. It was a laidback, and relaxing atmosphere, where a bunch of guys could get together and escape the world they are trapped in on a daily basis. Mother Nature and the outdoors provide a therapeutic process like no other. I have since become more involved in the Foundation, and have made friends for a lifetime, not to mention the strongest support group any warrior could ask for.
To Honor. To Connect. To Heal.
Succinct, yet three sentences thoroughly explain the power of the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation (WWIA). My involvement with WWIA began over 3 years ago, when I was invited to attend a top-tier fishing trip with a wonderful group of my peers (Purple Heart recipients). The level of camaraderie experienced during that trip was unmatched. For the first time, I was able to bond with a group of peers who "got it" - who truly understood all of the dynamics. The event was so powerful for me, I wanted...needed...to get involved; and I was able to.
Now, as an Associate Guide, I have the humbling honor of meeting 3-5 new groups of our nation's combat wounded heroes. From the initial phone call, through a powerful event, and for an infinite time thereafter; I get the honor of making new friends, connecting at a personal level, and partake in a level of healing that cannot be found in a physicians office. Each experience is incredible in it's own way!
WWIA has help me connect with fellow combat injured Veteran's and provided me with an environment to heal and connect but more importantly help others.
This is by far one of the most incredible and spot-on organizations that exists for combat wounded.
My name is SSG Jonathan French, a Combat Engineer (12B)/SAPPER in the US ARMY MIANG. I was deployed to the mountains of eastern Afghanistan in 2008-2009. Prior to deployment, I thought the worst outcome was the possibility being killed. I was unaware there could be something far worse. During an intense firefight with insurgents in July of 2009, I was struck directly in the chest by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG). I was medevac'd out and sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for medical and physical rehabilitation. It was here I learned what was worse than dying. I found myself emotionally and mentally numb; wondering what my purpose or mission was. I felt lost with no real direction on where to go, what to do next or even if I felt like doing anything. I was later introduced to the Wounded Warriors In Action Foundation (WWIAF) and reintegrated back into the hunting and fishing sports (something I grew up with and was passionate about prior to deployment). Through the time provided in the outdoors, the pursuit of animals/game fish and providing sustenance for my family -I found my internal grounding, my purpose, a replacement for the surge of combat adrenaline and especially the ability to relax and breathe. Through WWIAF, I was able to gain direction in my life and a sense of purpose. In a battlefield environment a soldier is an expert at his job and duties. Now that I was back in the civilian world, this void was filled by my time as a sportsman in the outdoors. The WWIAF events provide the perfect environment for wounded Warriors' mental and emotional rehabilitation. A Warrior is given the camaraderie with fellow wounded Warriors and the environment to learn and grow from their experiences. New friendships and bonds are created between other Warriors, the extraordinary hosts as well as the donors with whose generosity helped us out on a deep, personal level; complete strangers who cared for us when we needed help. It confirms the idea of who we are fighting for, the greatness of this Country. This foundation introduces us with phenomenal people who share the same patriotism and values as us.
I'm not sure where I would be without this Foundation or the support of my family, firends and community. To the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, my greatest and sincerest appreciation for giving me a sense of purpose, direction and meaning back to my life.
I have been involved with the Foundation for 6 years as a Host, Volunteer and Employee. I am constantly amazed by the healing that I see taking place on a daily basis. It is wonderful to see the connections being made by these warriors that would not be possible if not for the communities and sportsman that help us achieve our mission. Each day I wake up excited, humbled and appreciative to be a part of an organization that is making a difference in these heroes lives.
When I First got the call I was in shock. The lady on the other end of the line asked me if I would Like to go on an all expenses paid turkey hunt in Virginia. I asked her how she knew I had a Purple Heart and she said someone must have signed me up. My wife. This trip really helped me. Sometimes I get lost in being a family man and working all the time and still struggle day to day with my memories and scars from the war. This trip helped me, It assured me that there are still people who care about an old war torn veteran like me and that means more than any words I could write on this here review. I made lifetime friends in only three days and memories that I will share with my children. This was one of the greatest opportunities I've ever had a chance of being apart of. It was so great that if I never get to do it again I am just thankful that I got to go the time that I did and that If I am not there then someone else deserving is there in my place they will fall in love with the comradery and hospitality that they will find from the best Non-profit in the world.
My family continues to grow with each new event I volunteer on. It's truly remarkable that the foundation provides me with so many new relationships with patriotic people!
My name is Nathan Allen, I have been with this organization since 2011. I went on my first hunt a few months after being shot in Afghanistan and all i could think to myself was "What a life changing program." To top it all off the founder John McDaniels was on the event to personally tell the heroes what the foundation was about and how he envisioned to build the foundation up. I knew instantly i wanted to be on board and serve along side fellow purple heart recipients to help heal and serve Purple heart recipients. WWIA helps heal and transform heroes that are looking to fill a possible void in their lives by turning them into outdoors men or by helping them hone in their hunting/fishing skills. I have personally seen guys make great transformations in a 4 day event by talking to them around the campfire and they realize they aren't alone, and others in the group are going through the exact same struggles we all experience. I can't preach about this organization enough, It's results speak for itself and how we serve the Purple Heart Community.
Wounded warrior in action... they are great. They sent me on a turkey hunt / walleye fishing close to home. Their communication is amazing. They had someone their to make sure everything went smooth, and really took care of me. It was great to get out in nature, and be around other wounded warriors like myself. Other non profits let anyone in. This is just for us. We have lots of wounds from war, and it is like therapy. I am blessed to be apart of this organization, and I am excited for my next adventure.
I went on a duck hunt with WWIA in 2015. I am so grateful that I was afforded the opportunity, and Im very happy I took advantage of the opportunity. The event was top notch and the mentor who attended was great at what he does.
For veterans, you will have the opportunity to join you brothers and sisters for quality time with laughing, hunting/fishing and sharing memories, mostly positive. As for donors, you can feel comfortable that your money is having a significant positive impact in the lives of veterans.
I've been a part of WWIA since 2008. A great organization and teammates who provide world class sportsmen opportunities to our nation's Purple Heart Medal Heroes in the USA and Canada. I've been a part of many hunts with WWIA in California, Florida and Alabama. I'm also a lead associate with WWIA and have been selected to lead future hunts nationally/internationally. I was also selected to attend the inaugural Guide School in Maine this May 2016. WWIA has afforded me the opportunities to grow as a true professional sportsmen and leader within the organization. They continue to empower me to be the best that I can be, in and out of the field. I owe them a tremendous Thank You and debt of gratitude! Thank you for such awesome opportunities!! Thanks John, WWIA teammates and fellow warriors/Heroes!
WWIAF Is amazing! It is amazing to see Combat Wounded Veterans do the things the love and enjoy! Being on these events gives you a sense of brotherhood after the Military. Top notch organization!
I'm so glad that my son found WWIA and could go on the hunting trip. He's been through so much and the friendships he made through WWIA has really changed his life. I hope all our brave veterans get to have experiences like this with folks like WWIA.
What Wounded Warriors in Action does for our veterans is absolutely fantastic. I'm so proud to volunteer with this organization and be a part of providing such amazing outdoor experiences for heroes. They're by far one of the best veteran's organizations out there!
I was wounded twice in Iraq in 2004. From 2004 until 2013 I found ways to help with the healing process. On numerous occasions I was afforded the opportunity to go out with organizations for hunts,fishing trips, biking trips, camping etc. each time I refused. I consider myself lucky to be alive and always thought there were more in need that these organizations were designed for. My wife sent in an application for WWIA. I received a phone call from the foundation to go on a duck hunt in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was very hesitant, but my wife was very persistent! It was one of the best decisions I ever made! I spent a weekend doing something that I love, surrounded by a group of wounded veterans from the Vietnam War, Iraq War and the Afghan War and most importantly great Americans who volunteered their time and resources to just say thank you with no strings attached. The cadre of the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation is top notch!! All are volunteers, most were wounded themselves and never once did they ask for anything in return! I left a new man, a better person and most importantly a better husband and father. I told my buddies about the foundation and every single one of them, that has done an event with another organization, was envious of my experience. Thank you Wounded Warriors in Action.
My name is Doug Alderton, while in service in Afghanistan doing rout clearance missions we came under heavy attack which ended in losing our truck commander Sgt Ryan Adams and severely injuring my self and many others in our convoy. After being medically retired from the military I like many others felt lost. I had lost not only my position with the military but also the brotherhood. This built onto the already many physical and mental injuries and made the depression a constant in my life. With the invite of a close friend Matt Tennessen to attend a WWIA event and just try and be around others who were dealing with the same issues my eyes were opened and I was now recharged knowing I wasn't alone in this battle in life. The men and women if WWIA are truly giving vets a chance to be part of a new brother/sister hood of peers who know what you are dealing with and giving us the opportunity to recover spending time together and doing events that show we can still do and enjoy life events. Thank you WWIA!
I can literally say that the Wounded Warriors in action saved my life and gave me opportunities I could never have outside the military, but the pure pleasure of outdoor activities. I can see the benefits that wounded warriors in action give the regular military veteran. This organization gives the chance for veterans to find the ability to reconnect with their fellow veteran and the world around them.
After my deployment to Iraq in 2005, I was desperately searching for that brotherhood I had for the past year. And I found that with WWIA, to be with fellow combat wounded veterans again was simply amazing. The simplicity of WWIA and how they coordinate and operate should be a prime example of how a nonprofit (veteran) organization should be managed. To have a organization spend more on the care for the veterans it serves and less on promotional waste is wonderful to see. I feel honored to be a member and associate with WWIA.