The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity geared toward helping veterans cope with the mental and physical ailments that developed during their service. It offers financial assistance to recently discharged veterans, aid with finding and maintaining post-service employment, and mentoring services that support long-term growth and reintegration into civilian society.
The Wounded Warrior Project began in 2003 when injured veteran John Melia saw how much simple comfort items could aid in the recovery of wounded vets. He began a project distributing backpacks filled with clothes, toiletries and entertainment items, and the WWP Backpacks program remains one of the central programs the charity administers.
The Wounded Warrior Project divides its programs into four categories: Body, Mind, Economic Empowerment and Engagement. Body programs focus on physical health and wellness as well as providing for basic needs for wounded veterans. Mind programs help veterans cope with combat stress, post-traumatic stress disorders, and other issues that can make transitioning into the civilian world difficult. Economic Empowerment programs are geared towards improving job skills, helping veterans find job opportunities, and teaching employers about the issues warriors can face while transitioning. Engagement programs encourage veterans to help each other through alumni support programs and mentoring, allowing each returning warrior to share his own experience and knowledge with the rest.