U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program
(Formerly Disabled Soldier Support System (DS3))
What is it? The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is designed to provide severely-wounded Soldiers and their families with a system of advocacy and follow-up with personal support. The hallmark of this program is the personal support given to each Soldier during his or her rehabilitation and transition back to military service or into the civilian community.
What has the Army done? The AW2 staff has been managing individual cases and identifying areas for systemic change. The dedicated AW2 staff assists Soldiers and their families by ensuring that they are aware and informed through counseling and directly linking them to a network of information and resources. The staff ensures that Soldiers and their families receive the full benefit of employment/transition assistance. Every AW2 Soldier receives information relating to continuation on active duty or continuation in active reserve opportunities to assist them in making an informed decision on remaining in the military or transitioning into the civilian community. The AW2 staff actively facilitates Soldiers' and families' contact and coordination with external support agencies (i.e., Veterans Service Organizations, Veterans Administration, Department of Labor, etc.) throughout the rehabilitation and transition processes. An AW2 Call Center has been established to address any questions from Soldiers and families and/or to link them with the appropriate AW2 specialist at: 1-800-833-6622. The AW2 program follows Soldiers for five years after entry into the program. The Army changed the name of this program in November 2005 from the Disabled Soldier Support System (DS3) to the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) to reflect the Warrior ethos and indomitable spirit of our severely-wounded Soldiers.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The AW2 is implementing a Traumatic Injury Protection Insurance Program of Serviceman Group Life Insurance for the Army. The AW2 will identify additional wounded Warriors to ensure that all eligible AW2 Soldiers and their family members have access to existing programs, new initiatives, and overall holistic support services. The AW2 is building a worldwide presence in a multi-faceted campaign to reach out to AW2 Soldiers and their families, the Army Family, and Corporate America, through visits to Army Installations, Army and Veterans Affairs hospitals, and exhibits at national conventions. In addition, it is developing a robust interactive web site to further spread the word about AW2 and its first rate treatment of our Army's severely-wounded and ill Soldiers and their families. To assist in accomplishing this task, AW2 is implementing a web-based Soldier Tracking System and as part of expanding its physical footprint in major Military Treatment Facilities. Additionally, AW2 is assisting Walter Reed Army Medical Center in building a one stop employment transition center.
Why is this important to the Army? The AW2 takes to heart the Warrior Ethos. Always placing the mission first, our primary concern is the well-being of wounded Soldiers and family members. The AW2 will never quit or accept defeat when dealing with issues affecting the Soldier. The mission is not complete until each issue has been resolved. The last line in the Warrior Ethos is extremely pertinent, "Never Leave a Fallen Comrade." This is more than a battlefield ethos. The returning wounded Warrior can be assured the Army will be there and do whatever it takes to assist the Soldier and family during and after the recovery process.
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