LANDSTUHL, Germany (Oct. 25, 2023) - Army veteran Corine Hamilton woke up in a hospital in Germany in 2021. She was severely wounded, far from home, and even farther from family. Although she was surrounded by doctors and nurses from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), the largest U.S. hospital outside of the United States, she felt alone. However, Corine quickly came to realize she had support from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
“I was severely depressed after my accident,” Corine said. “Wounded Warrior Project’s visit was so encouraging. It lifted my spirit.”
Corine deployed to Poland in 2020 and soon after a horrible vehicle crash nearly killed her. Corine’s injuries left her paralyzed from the waist down. WWP’s team, stationed at LRMC, stepped in to help right away, providing Corine with comfort items and a tablet. At the time of her injuries, there were still limitations in place amid the global pandemic, so her mom could not travel to be by her side. That tablet helped Corine stay connected with her family, even with an ocean between them.
When a service member is injured severely enough while deployed to Europe, Africa, or the Middle East, they are often taken by plane to a hospital in Germany.
Along with medical staff, Corine also had teammates from Wounded Warrior Project by her side, providing support and comfort items.
The hospital provides lifesaving care for wounded service members. Staff also help stabilize warriors before they are transported to U.S.-based hospitals.
Wounded Warrior Project started out delivering backpacks to wounded service members at military hospitals 20 years ago. Today, they still provide bags with comfort items to service members wounded while deployed.
Army veteran Corine Hamilton woke up in a hospital bed like this at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in 2021. She had survived a crash while deployed in Poland.
Corine recently reconnected with the Wounded Warrior Project teammate that first visited her in 2021. They were able to spend time together while Corine was in Dusselforf for the Invictus Games.
More than 200,000 U.S. service members like Corine are deployed around the globe according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook. Their efforts help support allies and secure U.S. interests. WWP is ready to serve military men and women if they become wounded, ill, or injured stateside or while deployed. At LRMC, WWP supports recently wounded service members from the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
WWP’s support starts with a visit and a duffel bag full of comfort items. Many hospital transfers arrive without personal belongings, so having clothing, toiletries, and other items is reassuring and critical. WWP teammates visit the wounded service members as often as possible and find other ways to help them feel welcome, including buying a birthday cake for one injured service member in the past.
“They made sure we were OK,” Corine said. “Wounded Warrior Project introduced us to more support to help my healing journey when we left Germany.”
Continuing Support for Warriors
As Corine transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center near Washington, DC, her support from WWP followed. The organization helped Corine’s mom visit and care for her daughter.
Because of the seriousness of her injuries, Corine’s next stop was at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program in Richmond, Virginia. COVID restrictions limited visitation. So, a WWP teammate sometimes played games with her — namely Tic Tac Toe — through a window at the facility to keep Corine company. When WWP teammates could enter the VA center, they would.
“Wounded Warrior Project became my family. They would bring games, food, and just be a listening ear for me,” Corine said.
“They introduced me to adaptive sporting, ways in which I could integrate into the community without feeling different or uncomfortable due to the use of my wheelchair.”
WWP has supported Corine for more than two years since her injuries, just like the organization has supported tens of thousands of other veterans over the past two decades.
When WWP was founded in 2003, its mission focused on the immediate needs of service members who were wounded in war zones. This year, the organization recognizes 20 years of service to today’s generation of wounded warriors. WWP is also recognizing 20 years of innovation in delivering lifesaving programs and services to support mental and brain health, financial wellness, connection, long-term rehabilitative care, advocacy, and more.
Support Comes Full Circle
WWP introduced Corine to adaptive sports to help her not feel alone and find her community. She now thrives in that community.
Corine recently won multiple medals at the Department of Defense Warrior Games, an annual event with hundreds of elite athletes, including those from international allied nations, competing in adaptive sporting events. She also recently competed at the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany, for Team USA.
When she arrived in Germany most recently for the games, she found a familiar face, and a familiar logo. The first WWP teammate she met after her injury made the short trip from LRMC to Dusseldorf and brought other wounded veterans to cheer Corine on.
“When I saw the team at the Invictus games, it really warmed my heart,” Corine said. “They encouraged me to keep going, never give up, and reminded me of where I was coming from and where I am today. I can’t ask for a better team to be honest. I hold Wounded Warrior Project dear to my heart.”
Contact: Rob Louis – Public Relations 904.627.0432 [email protected]