"Mission first is getting Soldiers like Sergeant Robles back on their feet; never quitting is his job; never accepting defeat is our job to help him; and never leaving a fallen comrade is what the Fisher House Foundation and the CFI Foundation (have done), and all of those great Americans who have donated their dollars and their hearts to let our Soldiers know that if you are wounded on the battlefield, we will stay with you." Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody said during the Jan. 28 opening ceremony for the Center for the Intrepid.
U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) (28)
(Formerly Disabled Soldier Support System (DS3))-Part Two
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? As severely-wounded or injured Soldiers progress through their care and rehabilitation, the AW2 staff remains with them to ensure that all their immediate non-clinical needs are met (securing financial assistance in the form of grants from a network of providers, resolving travel claims, and finding a place for family members to live).
The AW2 staff continues to take an active role in changing policy to resolve severely-wounded or injured Soldier indebtedness, allowing these Soldiers to remain on Active or Reserve duty, despite traumatic injuries (e.g., amputations, blindness), and works with public and private sector employers to provide meaningful employment.
AW2 continues to identify eligible severely-wounded or injured Soldiers and family members to ensure they have access to existing programs, new initiatives, and overall holistic support services.
AW2 is building a worldwide presence in a multi-faceted campaign to reach out to severely-wounded or injured Soldiers and their families, the Army Family, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and Corporate America through visits to Army installations, Army and Veterans Affairs hospitals, exhibits at national conventions, media events, interagency meetings, and the media.
Additionally, AW2 is developing a robust interactive web site to further spread the word about the program and its personalized care for our Army's severely-wounded and injured Soldiers and their families. AW2 is implementing a web-based Wounded Warrior Accountability System and a "real time" financial calculator.
AW2 is expanding its physical footprint by placing Soldier Family Management Specialists in major Army Medical Treatment Facilities and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
Why is this important to the Army? The AW2 takes to heart the Warrior Ethos. Always placing the mission first means the well-being of the wounded Soldier and family members is our primary concern. AW2 will never quit or accept defeat when dealing with issues affecting severely wounded or injured Soldiers or their families. The mission is not complete until each issue is 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 severely-wounded or injured Warrior can rest assured the Army will be there and do whatever it takes to assist our severely-wounded or injured Soldiers and families during and after the recovery process.