The organization breeds and trains Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers to become service companions or for other individual and facility needs.
In the military, "got your six" is a phrase referencing having someone's back. It is mentioned in movies and television shows, but for Antoinette Wallace, it took connecting with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to really feel it.
"I found this hub of people who have my back," Antoinette, a National Guard veteran [pictured above], said. "I've found these friends — who are going to be my lifelong friends and are so understanding and have my six."
Antoinette first learned about WWP through a Department of Veterans Affairs program.
"Another veteran told me how Wounded Warrior Project linked her with other veterans. I realized I qualified based on my post-traumatic stress."
It's a common misconception that veterans must have suffered a physical injury to take part in WWP's free programs and services. The veterans charity has helped address the invisible wounds of war for 15 years — first through hospital visits with backpacks loaded with comfort items; now with impactful mental health programming.
Through WWP, Antoinette also connected with other female veterans, and it's been instrumental in her recovery.
"I did Soldier Ride® in New York, which is where I'm from, and I met some warriors, mostly women warriors, whom I feel should have been in my life from the beginning. They're from the other side of the country, but we speak on a regular basis."
These support structures are vital for a warrior's recovery. In a survey of the warriors it serves, WWP found some of the challenges female veterans face, such as a higher rate of clinically significant depression, more homelessness than male counterparts, and more female veterans have no income from work.
WWP brings female veterans together through female-only connection events and mental health workshops.
"They come and find Wounded Warrior Project, and they find some women, and they have the support system. I'm living proof of the success Wounded Warrior Project has created in my life. I went from totally depressed and hopeless to thriving.
A version of this story previously appeared on the Wounded Warrior's website on June 4, 2018.
WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women; help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.Learn More
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