Warrior Transition Unit opens doors to community
November 21, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany - Angela Roelofs had no idea how closely knit the Soldiers at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Warrior Transition Unit were until she attended the unit's open house Nov. 15.
Roelofs, an Army Career Alumni Program counselor, said she attended the open house because she often works with WTU Soldiers and wanted to know more about the unit, but also because she wanted to let them know about the services ACAP offers.
WTU is for wounded, ill or injured Soldiers who are in transition, most often to civilian life, but not always, said Sgt. 1st Class Jovany Morales, WTU platoon sergeant. Some Soldiers stay in the Army after spending time in the WTU.
November is Warrior Care Month, and several Warrior in Transition Units in Germany held open houses on the same day, Morales said.
The idea was to let Army leaders know about the services the WTU offers, as well as let them know about the application process, Morales said. That way, leaders could tell Soldiers about the program if they thought it might help.
"A lot of people don't know we're here," Morales said. "Even though we put it out there, it's like we're top secret."
There are WTUs throughout the Army, but the units in Germany are for Soldiers who either have a German spouse, are German citizens, want to stay in Germany after they leave the Army or want to return to duty in Germany, Morales said.
The WTU offers a host of programs to help Soldiers make the transition to civilian life, Morales said.
Soldiers set education and/or career goals and meet them along the way, Morales said.
ACAP, which helps Soldiers in everything from writing a resume to negotiating a salary, is a cornerstone program for the WTU, Morales said. "It's an awesome program," he said.
While in the unit, Soldiers participate in physical training just as they would in a regular Army unit, Morales said.
Soldiers participate in wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball and other activities, Morales said.
There are about 20 Soldiers in Wiesbaden's WTU, and two live in the WTU building, Morales said.
The Soldier, Family Assistance Center is located within the WTU building, which is Building 1202 on Clay Kaserne, also gets family members involved in the Soldier's transition, Morales said.
Spc. Chris Guidry, a member of Wiesbaden's WTU, said he entered the unit in January and hopes to get a civilian job working in logistics. His wife is German, he said, and he would like to stay in Germany.
So far he has been able to take advantage of a host of programs to help him make the transition, Guidry said.
He has used the Hero 2 Hire program, learned how to write resumes and learned how to complete college applications, Guidry said.
He is taking online classes through the University of Maryland University College in German, psychology and business, Guidry said.
There are a lot of horror stories out there about Soldiers having difficulty making the transition to civilian life, but he is confident that he has the skills to make the transition, Guidry said.
The program is supportive and motivating, Guidry said. "I think it's a really good program," he said.
For more information about the WTU contact Morales at mil 337-7984, civ (0611) 705-7984 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For information about the Army-wide program visit www.WTC.army.mil.