I am most certainly the foremost authority on this topic. “This topic”, by that I mean me, Aimee. I would like to say I graduated with an accounting degree, law degree, business degree, and all the degrees required to offer the most complete and informed opinion on the recent uproar about Wounded Warrior Project. I am amazed at all the new experts I have seen coming onto Facebook since I woke up this morning. I am not though. I am none of those. I cannot sit behind the comfort of my laptop and pretend to know what the proper and acceptable amount of money a CEO of a non-profit such as this one should be making. I don’t know how much should go where or why. All I know, as I stated, is Aimee. Aimee, I am an expert on. So enough with the intro, let’s move on to the REAL scandal of Wounded Warrior Project!!!
Here are the REAL dirty details! About 7 years ago or so I joined WWP. I had NO clue who they were. I had never heard of them. Never saw a commercial. Nada. I signed up. Whatever. Never really heard much from them except a few times a year I would get an invite for a MALE only event that sounded wonderful, except the fact that is was male only. It talked of horseback riding, bonding with other vets… Everything I needed. I never left my house at that time. I had a service dog (see earlier blog posts to get caught, up you slackers). Eventually, a few years later I was at a Tennessee female Veteran conference in Nashville. I saw a booth for WWP where this very sweet lady was passing out information. I walked up and she sweetly asked if I had joined yet. I said yes and gave her a bit of a rude reply about only being invited to male only events… She took down my name and a few weeks later I was invited on a FEMALE only event! Thus, started my journey to healing.
The truth about WWP is, without them, without this organization and their MANY many programs, not just for veterans, but for their caregivers as well, I know that me, and many other lady veterans I have met, wouldn’t be as well adjusted now. I have learned to make healthier choices for myself, set goals and boundaries, and most importantly realize I am worth the effort. They are a lifeline when I need them to be, but they also have allowed me to GIVE back to my sisters by allowing me to be a leader in the veteran community. I went from not leaving my house for anything, feeling SO inadequate and worthless, to now, when I walk into a room with my veteran friends, I am proud. My head is held high. I am still working on the civilian side. I still walk with my head down, but I am finally starting on a path to integrate with them as well. Currently I feel like a bird living in the ocean. The ocean creatures are beautiful, but I am certainly not thriving. When I am with my WWP friends, I am with my other birds, flying free. It gives me the confidence to try to get back to my ocean and try to belong more.
So, if you are an alumni of WWP, and you have had a positive experience, now is the time to be vocal. YOU are a testament to the work this organization does. You should not feel responsible for being an expert about anything aside from yourself and your experiences. You know how this organization has made an impact on your life.