OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Wounded Warrior Project held a special event on the beach in Ocean Springs Wednesday morning. That's where a small group of injured veterans gathered to exercise their bodies and their minds. They enjoyed a yoga session, followed by paddle board lessons.
"Twists are wonderful for your digestive system. For your internal organs," said yoga instructor Kim Frey, as she calmly lead participants through a series of deep breathing techniques and relaxation positions.
"Whatever you feel comfortable with this morning," she told the group.
Wounded warrior Dwight Blackman is from Carnes, Mississippi, just north of Wiggins. He appreciates this opportunity and outlet provided by Wounded Warriors Project.
"I get to do a lot of things with them. It gets me out of the house. I get tired of sitting around the house not doing a lot. So it gets me out a lot," said Blackman.
Keeping these veterans active is a big part of what Wounded Warriors is all about.
"It's a great outlet. It's an opportunity to get out of the house. Do some exercise. Be involved and be engaged," says Justin Bednar, an outreach coordinator with Wounded Warriors Project.
"That's where you're going to find your most balance," said Amanda Mavar-Schmidt, as she picked up a paddle.
Following yoga, it was paddle board time.
"So, that's how you hold your paddle. It looks kind of backward, but it's not," she told the group.
Following a basic on shore briefing, it was time to hit the water, where the warriors quickly learn it's not quite as easy as it looks. Still, this is a group not easily defeated. They enjoy these opportunities to learn and share.
"There's a lot of bad things that have happened to us. And we need an outlet. We definitely need an outlet. And Wounded Warrior gives that," said a 26 year Army veteran from Alabama.
This morning was not just special for the veterans.
"It's special for me to be a part of something like this. I really, it's affecting me, working with these people, for sure," said Mavar-Schmidt.
"It's fun to be around some people that understands you. You're able to talk to and everything. And it helps getting out," said Blackman.