The holidays can be a stressful time for many, and that goes especially for our nation’s veterans. The Wounded Warrior Project looked to alleviate some of that stress with a recent event.

Held at a cooking school, professional chefs helped injured veterans and family members bake and decorate holiday cookies. In addition to receiving baking tips, participants had the opportunity to connect with fellow military families in their community.

Donning their WWP aprons, wounded warriors and their families set to work measuring, mixing, and baking sweet favorites such as sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. The baking session was a great learning – and bonding – experience for Army veteran Paul Thompson and his young daughter.

"I really enjoyed spending time with my daughter, and it was great watching her learn and apply what was taught right away. It was also a chance for warriors to get together and reflect on our time in service," says Army veteran Paul Thompson.

These connection events support the long-term recovery needs of warriors by reintroducing them and their families to the unique bonds experienced during military service.

"A lot of times after we leave the military, we find ourselves not having that circle of friends who understand who we are and where we come from," Thompson says. "Attending Wounded Warrior Project activities is like reuniting with family."

WWP staff members interacted with attendees over the course of the afternoon, advising them of additional programs and services to assist in their recovery processes. The programs assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. Through the generosity of donors, these beneficial programs are available to injured veterans and their families at no cost to them.