Michael Richardson & Samantha Hargrove: June 26, 2020


WWP VP and Warrior Discuss Access to Mental Health Programs for Wounded Veterans



Independence Services and Mental Health Vice President, Wounded Warrior Project


Warrior, Veteran US Air Force


Since their inception in 2003, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) has been committed to helping wounded veterans achieve their highest ambition. They recognized that each warrior faces a unique journey, which is why WWP offers robust mental health programs such as Project Odyssey, WWP Talk, and Warrior Care Network. They also offer additional virtual programming that has been available to veterans during the current pandemic. These programs focus directly on treating PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and developing coping and communication skills. Wounded Warrior Project is committed to helping warriors cope and receive treatment for PTSD. During PTSD Awareness Month, WWP wants to raise awareness of PTSD and continue to help warriors meet their own definition of a life worth living.


  • About eight million American adults have PTSD during a given year. It is estimated at least 600,000 post-9/11 veterans are part of that population living with PTSD.
  • PTSD can affect a person’s mental health after they experience or witness a traumatic event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.  For veterans, PTSD can stem from combat, training, or military sexual trauma (MST).
  • In a WWP Survey of the wounded warriors it serves, 83% report living with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is one of the most common self-reported injuries and health problems among warriors.


With PTSD Awareness Day happening June 27, Independence Services and Mental Health Vice President at Wounded Warrior Project, Michael Richardson is available live on June 26th to discuss Wounded Warrior Project’s ongoing commitment to mental health services for those warriors suffering from PTSD.  He’s joined by warrior Samantha Hargrove who served in Iraq in an administrative position where one would not expect to come into harm’s way. After suffering a traumatic brain injury from a blast that blew through Sam’s communication tent, she miraculously walked away, but the memory left a lasting impression.  She can share her personal journey on serving in Iraq, how her involvement with WWP helped her manage PTSD and improve her personal relationships, and how sharing her story can help other veterans in need.


You can find more information by visiting woundedwarriorproject.org or by calling Wounded Warrior Project’s Resource Center at 888-997-2586.

Wounded Warrior Project is available to post-9/11 veterans and family support members Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.



Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Independence Services and Mental Health Vice President Michael Richardson leads all WWP programs focused on increasing independence and improving psychological well-being and resilience. These mental health programs form the programmatic foundation to heal the invisible wounds of war. Michael served 32 years in the US Army and retired in 2013 as a Medical Service Corps officer. He last served as the Director of the Disability Evaluation System for Army Medicine as part of the Army Staff. He also commanded the Warrior Transition Battalion for Europe.

Michael has numerous combat and operational deployments to Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo, and Bosnia.


Michael’s awards and decorations include two Legions of Merit, Bronze Star Medal; five Meritorious Service Medals; and various other medals and decorations. He also earned the Airborne, Air Assault, and Expert Field Medical Badge and is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.


Michael holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (Health) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Hawaii. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, Beth.



Sam Hargrove joined the U.S. Air Force for the promise of a better life and a secure future. She never thought her job as an admin, working on computers, would put her in harm’s way. But in Iraq in 2003, everyone was in harm’s way.

One morning, while calling home from a tent on her base in Tallil, Iraq, a bomb exploded. The shock wave from the blast blew through the tent, knocking out the base’s communication system and leaving Sam with a traumatic brain injury. Miraculously, she was able to walk away from the blast ? helping a junior Airman to safety along the way.

But the memory of the blast, and all the bullets and projectiles fired into her base while she was in Iraq, left a lasting impression. In 2010, Sam finally realized she needed help when her godson told her he was scared of her.


The 90-day inpatient program she attended was good, but without strong follow-up care, Sam lapsed into negative patterns when she got back home. Then she learned about Wounded Warrior Project. At first, she joined a local Peer Support group and got to know some other veterans in her community. Then she attended a Couples’ Project Odyssey, which helped improve her relationship with her fiancée. But her biggest breakthroughs came when she participated in Warrior Care Network.  The follow-up care from Warrior Care Network was another big benefit for Sam, and what made the program much more impactful than her earlier attempts at getting help. She’s also been involved with WWP Talk, which has kept her moving forward.  Now, Sam shares her experiences so other warriors will have hope. She wants them to realize they are not alone, and that many others have overcome similar problems.  “I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for Wounded Warrior Project,” says Sam.


Interview provided by: Wounded Warrior Project


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