Wounded Warrior Project gave more than a dozen family support members a sweet treat just before the New Year.
WWP brought the family members to Sweet Pete's in Jacksonville, Fla., where they learned to make lollipops. Outings like this one give family members the opportunity to relieve stress and meet other family support members, helping them build support structures.
WWP knows it's important to help family members, who play an important role in an injured veteran's recovery and undergo stress as they help their loved ones cope with the changes following a visible or invisible wound.
"It's amazing how candy is made," says Lymarie Medina, a registered family support member with WWP. "It never would have crossed my mind how much work goes into a single lollipop. I learned a lot."
Medina helps her husband in his recovery from serious injuries suffered in Iraq. She spends long days caring for her husband and their children, and outings help provide her with a break as well as encouragement.
"I got to enjoy the company of others who understand what our daily world is," she says. "Just when I start to think I am alone, a group of strangers reminds me that I am not. It feels good to have that bond to laugh and talk to them, and not be judged. It is amazing."
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., WWP strives to meet the needs of the injured population it serves. It aims to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
More than 80 cents of every dollar raised goes to support wounded veterans, and more than 23,000 injured service members responded to WWP's 2015 annual Alumni Survey, which helps WWP shape programs and services it provides at no cost to service members, caregivers and families.