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Wounded Warrior Project's Project Odyssey Aims to Teach Coping Skills for Combating Post-Traumatic Stress in Wounded Warriors
Date:2/12/2009

-Together with the Wildcatter Ranch, warriors to utilize natural surroundings to find peace, rediscover trust and start their personal journey to heal-

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project and the Wildcatter Ranch announced today that they will host 16 wounded warriors as part of WWP's Project Odyssey program to combat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Project Odyssey brings together veterans with PTSD and readjustment challenges for activities that offer healthy support in the healing process.

"The ultimate goal is for each participant to return home with a new set of coping skills and exercises to deal with the emotions and behavior associated with PTSD," stated John Roberts, National Service Director for Wounded Warrior Project.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result following a traumatic event and is quite prevalent among combat veterans. PTSD can manifest itself in numerous ways including upsetting memories of the event, flashbacks, nightmares and intense physical reactions to reminders of the traumatic events. Warriors may experience a pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension and sweating.

Activities throughout the Project Odyssey program vary but include horseback riding, canoeing and a special healing campfire ceremony. The ceremony will be performed by the Eastern Shoshone Nation. This is a sacred ritual rarely ever performed for members outside their tribe. The ceremony welcomes the warrior home and honors his or her status as a Warrior.

VA Readjustment Counseling Service staff has partnered with WWP in the Odyssey Projects. Vet Center Staff is present to support the therapeutic components of the program. Private and group sessions with Vet Center counselors and staff are available throughout the time at the ranch. All these activities come together to help establish a foundation of trust which is an integral part of the Project Odyssey experience. Once the program concludes the Warriors can return to their communities and have the Vet Centers available to them for continued counseling support for them and their family. The "Circle of Trust" re-established by the bond formed with the fellow combat veterans has an opportunity to continue at home.

According to recently released military data, U.S. Army suicides outnumbered all combat deaths in January of this year. And 2008 was the fourth year in a row in which suicides among soldiers rose.

"Wounded Warrior Project believes that nature and recreation are powerful tools for healing the spirit and mind. Recreational experiences assist participants in developing self-esteem and self-confidence, improving mental attitudes and outlook, and providing opportunities to enrich relationships with families, friends and peers," stated Roberts. "Now more than ever, programs like Project Odyssey are crucial to ensuring the mental health of our returning wounded."

Located just 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth in Graham, Texas, The Wildcatter Ranch encompasses 1,500 acres of the most beautiful land in all of Texas.

Due to the sensitive and personal nature of this topic, media will only be allowed at selected times. Please call Ayla Hay at (757) 340-7425 for more information.

For more information on Wildcatter Ranch & Resort, call (888) GO2WCRR (888-462-9277) or (940) 549-3500. Information is also available by visiting the Wildcatter Ranch Web, www.wildcatterranch.com. For photography, contact Tucker & Associates at (214) 252-0900.

About Wounded Warrior Project:

Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. For more information, please call 877 TEAM WWP (832-6997) or visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.


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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project
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