DALLAS — Warrior couples from across the nation regularly attend Wounded Warrior Project® multi-day mental health workshops that are held regionally. These gatherings are often the first time warriors leave their homes as couples to connect with other veterans and the local community.
“I’m not the same person that I used to be,” said Marc Harrington, U.S. Army National Guard (ANG) wounded warrior from Louisville, Texas. Marc and his wife, Brittnay, were married in 2015. She is also an injured veteran who served in the ANG. She introduced Marc to WWP after he returned from his last deployment and learned that he was to be medically retired due to his injuries. “My invisible wounds have impacted my family and marriage. I don’t want to just hang out. And when I’m upset – I don’t want to talk it out. I walk away. Eighty percent of the time, I’m secluding myself from life.”
Through the generous support of donors, WWP offers veterans specialized mental health programs and services – tailored to each warrior’s specific needs and free of charge. One program is its multi-day mental health workshops that are offered as all-male, all-female, or all-couples. Couples’ workshops provide safe, private environments where warriors and their significant others can express themselves and share their experiences.
WWP staff incorporate local activities in a recovery model that allows warrior couples to be vulnerable to the unknown and identify and work through anxieties together. By the end, couples share lessons learned from the activities that most positively impacted their journey during the workshop and set achievable goals for their recoveries.
“We attended the mental health workshop just as I was getting medically retired,” Marc said. “It really prepared me and my wife, equipping us with the tools needed as we transitioned into the civilian world. We learned that my injury limitations are adaptable, and we can move beyond them. We realized we need each other – that we may not be the same, but we will fight to move past it – become better together.”