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
Feeling overwhelmed with my son's newly acquired disability due to his deployment in Iraq, Wounded Warriors stepped up to the plate and provided me with a weekend of mental wellness and for that I am eternally grateful. My son's traumatic brain injury has left him permanently in need of care which, I now provide. Having the brief respite with other mother's of wounded warriors allowed me to have time for myself to take in and digest my new role from afar yet surrounded by newly acquired friends that truly understand what it is to have to deal with the consequences of the war long after it has ended. This non-profit agency truly understands how important it is to provide assistance to those that are now caring for our nation's heroes.
Being married to a disabled veteran and the mother to a special needs child, my name and story was passed around to several larger organizations. I was given bumper stickers, plastic cups and access to websites to read about how rough life is for the caregivers of disabled vets. Nothing that really helped me not feel so isolated and alone. WWFS showed personal interest in my life issues and pulled me out of a depression that was heading for suicide. I have been given a better understanding of my husbands mental state and in the few short months that we have been in the program, our family is building strong happy accepting relationships again. I can laugh and smile again thanks to a special lady that works for this organization. They have a wealth of knowledge of what disabled veteran's families go through - they tailor their program to you and what you need to get your life back on track. WWFS even found a program where we could apply for a mortgage free home - we did and we got it. The point is that this non profit is not looking for all the glory - they are really trying to help these veterans whose lives are forever changed due to their sacrifice. These men will carry the price of freedom and democracy on their backs and in their minds to their graves. WWFS understands that and is providing outlets and education for families like mine to enjoy life again. Their level of personal involvement with the families in their program exceeds any expectation you would expect from an organization like this. You are not just signed up and put on a mailing list. They want to make sure you are given the skills you need to adjust. They want to inspire you to find solutions to issues you may be having and will help you solve them. In short, they give you a foundation of hope for your future again. We could not be happier with WWFS.
The Wounded Warriors Family Support is AN AWESOME ORGANIZATION!!! After my husband nearly lost his life in Iraq his AW2 counseler referred us to the WWFS charity. They flew our family to Florida where they put us up in a beautiful townhouse for an entire week and gave us 7 day passes to go to Disney theme parks. They included a deep tissue massage for my husband which greatly helped with his injurie site. All in all the WWFS gave our family life changing memories that we would have probably never been able to afford without the WWFS!! So many times those that have take for granted the simple things that mean the world to those that don't have!! Thank you WWFS!!! You have been an awesome blessing to our family and so many others!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I'm a caregiver for my husband who is a disabled veteran as well as a caregiver for my father who is on in home hospice care for CHF. I also have 3 kids and 3 dogs. I broke my foot in early November. WWFS's volunteer Wendy contacted me to offer their services. They had maids come in to get my house caught up and kept clean to take the stress off of my husband an I. They also had a catering service provide fully cooked meals 3 nights a week for several weeks so that I could stay off my foot and let it heal. This helped us in so many ways and Wendy has become a friend for life. She checked on us daily and if I needed anything they were quick to act to help.
I've actually been searchin for others in my position to recommend for help!!
I have had the pleasure of working with the Col and others at WWFS for the past 3 years in regards to our non-profit Operation Recover. We provide retreats & resources for wounded warrior families and the WWFS donated monies to help sponsor 2 of our retreats. Their generosity allowed 8 families to participate in 2 retreats we did in VA, 2012. I have found that working in the non-profit community you often encounter organizations that are unwilling to work together on projects or to help each other. Our philosophy has always been that we can reach more people by helping each other and referring our families to those who provide resources we don't. I am happy to be able to let our families know about other non-profits available and WWFS is a good one. Thank you for your support as we first started our organization and for your continued support. I now have the pleasure of working with this organization and team personally as well.
Hello, my name is Priscilla Suiter. I heard of the WWFS while on a retreat for Operation Purple from other families that had wonderful experiences with them and others that went on like myself to have wonderful experiences with the WWFS... I've grown to know and respect them greatly. They're wonderful people with very large hearts. Please contact them and see for yourself. I guarantee you a friendly welcome and people readily to help you out with whatever your needs or questions may be. They're very helpful, kind, and highly respectable people. They have done so much for our wounded heroes and their families. Take a few moments to visit their website and see what they're all about because if you pass up Colonel Folsom and his wonderful organization you will truly be missing out!!! There you can also find real experience stories with these wonderful people including mine. This page may say they're a three star, but to me they're a five. Don't waste anymore time and go see what I'm talking about!! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!!!
My family was referred to this organization in early 2010 by a VA counselor who knew that we desperately needed some quality family time. The application process for a vacation was simple and straightforward, and within a couple of days we were scheduled for our first family vacation in years. I will never forget the smiles that my children had for seven days straight, the laughs and squeals that we shared together, and the look of contentment on my husband's face for being able to provide something to us that he thought he'd lost. WWFS still continues to engage with us, always seeking further ways to give us the family support that they promise. I could list so many things that they have done in almost three years, but the overall picture is that they have focused on the well-being of my injured husband, me, and both of our children as well. I truly believe their impact on us as a family has been emotionally critical and life changing.
Review from Guidestar
This organization was successfully sued by a real charity, Wounded Warrior Project. The court held that this group was receiving money that belonged to the real charity. I SUGGEST NOT SUPPORTING THIS GROUP AT ALL AND INSTEAD SEARCHING FOR WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT WHICH IS A LEGITIMATE CHARITY.