by: Michael Yoshida, Action News Jax Updated:
On Friday in Jacksonville, 16 wounded warriors graduated from year-long education and life-improvement program.
Graduates spent the past year working closely with Wounded Warrior Project teammates to further their education, improve their mental and physical health, and advance their careers in their post-military lives.
It was a celebration a year in the making.
“It's been great,” said Army veteran Amie McMillan.
McMillan was one of sixteen wounded warriors who graduated from the TRACK program. McMillan served nearly 10 years in the Army.
“Honestly, when I got out in 2014 I kind of just felt like I was floating, I was just out there by myself,” McMillan said.
McMillan found the TRACK program. Wounded Warrior Project paid for McMillan and other veterans to live and go to school all while providing daily physical and mental skills training, also at no cost.
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“It's a holistic approach to healing for these warriors,” said Danielle Ossi of the Wounded Warrior Project.
Ossi said as part of the program, the warriors complete three-month externships with local partners. For McMillan, that meant working with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office public information office.
“I got to work with uniformed officers and civilians and see a different side of law enforcement,” McMillan said.
McMillan said she eventually wants to work in communications and this experience along with her other warriors will help her achieve that.
“Everyone was just able to help each other out with resources and just sticking together like a family,” McMillan said.
Since its launch, TRACK has graduated more than 275 warriors, including nearly 170 in Jacksonville.
Because of the intense nature of track, many warriors choose to relocate for at least 12 months to complete the program. This was the last year of the program in Jacksonville.
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