By Mattison Brooks
The Warrior Ball
here was an air of discipline that hung over the “Ready Room.” Packed into this dimly lit briefing room, military service members stood in pressed, crisp outfits, listening intently with their gazes fixed straight ahead. Their attention was held by a row of speakers, briskly listing off details, measuring them against statistics and figures.
This engagement and person to person contact is a cornerstone of WWP’s programmatic structure and long-term vision to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded veterans in the nation’s history. It was what Shane Davis experienced during his evening with other WWP Alumni, eating and dancing the night away.
Yet for all the military formality in this room, on the other side of the closed doors there was no battlefield. Instead, as the men and women gathered in the room walked out, they came onto a deck overlooking Mission Bay, where the cocktail reception was beginning in earnest at the 2015 Southern California Warrior Ball.
“It was a fun event,” Davis said. “It offered me a chance to fellowship with other warriors and get to know each other a little more, hear their stories.”
This was a celebration, an event to honor Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni and their guests. At the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego, 300 Alumni and their guests gathered together to enjoy an evening filled with food, live music and entertainment - the Satin Dollz, a group of singers and dancers with entertainment reminiscent
HOMELAND / October 2015
of the WWII USO Camp Shows from 1941-1947. Stephen Lang, from the films Avatar and Gods and Generals, was also present to deliver a speech and pay honor to the WWP Alumni who paid their dues on the battlefield. “We wanted this evening to be about warrior-towarrior engagement and to feel like the formal military balls our Alumni attended while on active duty,” said Bryan Rollins, Alumni regional director at WWP. “It is a celebration of our Alumni’s military service and a chance for them to engage with other warriors and increase the opportunity to build camaraderie.”
For WWP, there is a key distinction between members and Alumni. Anyone can pay membership dues to an organization and call themselves a member. ‘Alumni’ denotes that one’s place in an organization was earned, and WWP Alumni have earned their place through common bonds of sacrifice. “For us, it was a chance for us to see other warriors who we don’t normally get to see,” said Sequoia www.homelandmagazine.com