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Wounded Warrior Project Presents Bennett Custom Awards

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonpartisan organization that provides programs and services to severely injured service members, recently honored recipients of its second annual WWP Carry Forward Awards® presented by Bank of America with custom trophies created by Bennett Awards. The Carry Forward Awards recognize selfless individuals who have gone out of their way to support our nation’s wounded service members through Wounded Warrior Project.

Award recipients are selected based on a number of criteria, including the magnitude of their efforts, how many people they have impacted, leadership qualities displayed in accomplishing their goals, the number of areas in which their efforts assisted Wounded Warriors, and results of public voting on the WWP website. Over 7,500 people voted in this year’s selection process. 

The 2013 recipients of the WWP Carry Forward Awards were: 

Aidan Hughes – A high school student who decided to take action in addressing the issue of military suicides when he first learned of WWP in middle school. He will be attending the Conference on National Affairs to propose reforms to mental-health care for veterans. 

Fred Kane – A father of two U.S. Army veterans who had a comrade killed in action was inspired to act. He started the Tee Off Fore A Cause golf tournament, which is now in its fifth year and has raised more than $100,000 for WWP. 

Joan Mehew – As the special needs director at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, she understands something special happens when people swim with dolphins. She works with WWP to schedule events for many WWP programs including Soldier Ride®, Caregiver Retreats and Project Odyssey™. 

Tracy Keil – A wife and caregiver of an injured service member who has become a vocal advocate for other caregivers. She aggressively seeks out ways in which she can help other struggling caregivers. She has testified before Congress with WWP on veterans’ legislation, including the Caregiver Compensation Act. 

Vincent LaSorsa – An injured service member’s friend who realized he could support some of WWP’s programs through the everyday work he does as the captain of singer Jimmy Buffett’s fishing boat. For the past six years he has donated his time to take groups of wounded warriors on ocean fishing voyages. 

For the second straight year, WWP presented these recipients with custom achievement trophies designed and produced by Bennett Awards. These trophies are based on a new custom award design Bennett Awards designer Ryan Rivas created for WWP in 2012, the inaugural year of the Carry Forward Awards. This unique custom design features a pewter hand-sculpted backpack sculpture mounted on top of a black marble base. 

The backpack is representative of one of WWP’s key programs. WWP provides wounded service members with backpacks when they arrive at military trauma units across the United States. The WWP backpacks are filled with essential care and comfort items such as clothing, toiletries, playing cards, and more. Injured warriors overseas who are evacuated from field hospitals to larger military treatment facilities stateside or abroad receive a smaller version of the WWP backpack, know as Transitional Care Packs, for immediate comfort. 

The backpack sculptures are mounted on a black block marble base, the design of which is inspired by the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Each side of the base incorporates customized engravings meaningful to the Carry Forward Awards program. The front of the base is engraved with the Carry Forward Awards logo, recipient name, and year of presentation. These engravings are filled with silver paint. The back of the base also features silver-fill engravings, but these engravings are of the WWP logo and credo statement: “Patriotism. Passion. Pride. I carry forward the mission to honor and empower wounded warriors.” Each side of the base features word-art engravings arranged in a block of the WWP core values, including Honor, Duty, Commitment, Service, Country, Integrity, and Courage. 

These unique trophies were presented to the deserving recipients at a special awards presentation and fundraising event held Thursday, October 10, 2013, at Club Nokia at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. More information of the WWP Carry Forward Awards can be found on their website at "WWP Carry Forward Awards"

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. T o get involved and learn more, visit "Wounded Warrior Project"