At Dragonfly Energy, we strive to give back to our communities and help to share the stories of veterans near and far. Our company places an important emphasis on recognizing the sacrifices our heroes have made to serve our country. We are proud to be assisting Wounded Warriors in Action, a non-profit with a mission near and dear to our hearts.
This blog was originally published on the website of our consumer brand, Battle Born Batteries.
The Beginnings of Wounded Warriors in Action
Retired Army officer John McDaniel founded the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation in 2007. The national 501(c)(3) nonprofit serves combat-wounded, Purple Heart recipients by providing the opportunity for them to get outdoors. Described as a no-nonsense, yet incredibly passionate man, it’s clear to everyone who meets John that he supports his fellow men and women when they return home. Whether it’s hunting or fishing excursions at no cost, participants can help heal from their time in the military. Each event is tailored to accommodate a small group of veterans over 2 to 3 days, promoting a deeper bond and close interactions with their peers.
Our company wanted to sponsor the non-profit at the 5-Star Gold level, and a monetary donation came earlier this year in the form of $20,000. Our team learned about Camp Hackett and knew that we needed to step in and assist after learning its bunkhouse was generator powered only. Having the opportunity to enjoy independence in the outdoors without relying on fossil fuels in one of the most remote parts of the state is something our company fully supports.
Operating in the northern woods of Wisconsin is Camp Hackett, a thousand acres of paradise for veterans to hunt, fish, and become revitalized by the outdoors. With our batteries powering the bunkhouse, in addition to the organization’s Airstream trailer, the property will be able to utilize a solar setup that is truly off the grid. Currently, Wounded Warriors in Action has over 4,000 volunteers across the country. Many of them are Purple Heart Associates or combat-wounded veterans who have gone through the program and became leaders in the non-profit. They serve as mentors to facilitate the development and growth of strong, meaningful bonds between small groups of Wounded Warriors.
John Keeney is a Marine whose entire family served in the Army. He was part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was shot by a sniper in the elbow. After 14 reconstructive surgeries, John has limited mobility in his arm but is grateful for the help he received during the healing process.
“I try and never gripe because I know there are so many others out there who are in worse situations,” he said. “I’ve been able to adapt over time, and the only thing I really can’t do completely is shuffle a deck of cards!”
John originally became involved with WWIA because a friend of his worked and served closely with the organization as a Hero. He really wants to inspire participants through his tough-love approach while reminding them about how the recovery process is what you make of it.
“I want people to know that it may feel like the team feeling and camaraderie, just disappears when you get injured. But it doesn’t, and WWIA can help to put you back on a team,” he said.
Jake Whipkey, a Seargent in the Army who was medically retired in 2009 after being wounded during his second tour in Iraq, is a Guide that’s looking forward to spending more time at the Camp. Jake enjoys the general camaraderie that can be found within the organization. He said that a lot of the veterans he meets has a service-first mentality, and combined with his love of the outdoors, was drawn to the program and its hunting and fishing excursions for vets.
“I’ve always enjoyed being a part of a team and it gives me purpose to be part of one,” Jake said. “We’re able to share like experiences, celebrate victories, and lift each other up during the down times in life.”
To learn more about the Wounded Warriors in Action organization, visit their website, Facebook, and Instagram. You can read our original announcement regarding our partnership here. We’ll be sharing more about how our company was able to help with the Airstream and Camp Hackett bunkhouse in the future, so stay tuned.