Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Need to Feel that Rush? Check out Warrior Adventure Quest!

Every now and then I run across something that just makes me proud (all over again!) to be an Army wife. I just posted the article "Warrior Adventure Quest Helps Soldiers" on the Army Well-Being homepage and am so impressed with this program.

If your Soldier has deployed to combat, you have likely seen a slightly different person return from war than the one who left. This may or may not be drastic, and may or may not be negative. It would be very difficult to live 12+ months away from home, experiencing high-stress, life-or-death situations regularly, and not be affected by it at all.

Sometimes this can manifest itself in a good way. My husband and I have talked about the fact that it seems easier for us to keep the "small things" small after 24 months of deployment during the past four years. Who really cares if the socks make it into the laundry hamper or if the dishes are left overnight? His socks are HERE, not in Iraq, and the dishes just means we enjoyed a meal ... together!

It's not always that simple, of course, but deployment can have a way of bringing things into perspective for you. Another possible effect of combat deployments is the Soldiers' need to "feel that rush." True, IED explosions and small arms fire are likely not anybody's idea of a good time, but they do produce an adrenaline rush that is difficult to replicate. Enough high-stress events like these, and a Soldier could begin to feel a 'need' for the same reaction he/she gets in combat situations. Sometimes, this can play out in other high-risk behaviors, like driving too fast, unsafe motorcycle drives, or physcial aggression.

Enter: Warrior Adventure Quest (WAQ). This program is designed to assist Soldiers in dealing with just this issue. A quote from the article says:
Through WAQ, Soldiers are exposed to healthy alternative high-adrenaline activities in a safe, controlled environment. These types of activities have proven to mitigate boredom and high-risk behavior.
It is such an impressive program to me because it is so real. It directly addresses a real need of our Soldiers today. Take a moment to read the entire article and see this video from the Fort Benning MWR for more information on the program.

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