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Today's Focus:

Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Symposium: Coming Together to Make a Difference

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"We're humbled to be joined up here by heroes -- men and women who went beyond the call of duty in battle, some selflessly risking their lives again and again so that others might live. True to form, they -- like all of you -- say they were just doing their job. That's what makes you the best of us, and that's why we simply want to say thank you to each and every one of you for your extraordinary service to our country."

- President Barack Obama at an Independence Day celebration at the White House

Obama thanks military families with Independence Day bash

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"Are our spouses going to be OK? Not just healthwise — getting shot. Are they going to be the same person they were when [the Soldier] left? After two or three deployments, there’s a chance they might not be."

- Rebecca Sinclair, the wife of 172nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Jeff Sinclair

Some seek mental health checks for spouses of multiple-deployed Soldiers

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Symposium: Coming Together to Make a Difference

What is it?

The AW2 Symposium brings together more than 65 severely wounded Soldiers, veterans, family members, and caregivers to identify the most important issues to be addressed in wounded Soldier care and transition. Based on their personal experiences, delegates will engage in a week of intensive focus group discussions. From these discussions, based on the Army Family Action Plan model, delegates select the top five issues in Soldier care to be presented to Army leadership-along with recommended actions. This year, the AW2 Symposium will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from July 8-14.

AW2 provides personalized support to severely wounded, injured, and ill Soldiers, veterans, and their families wherever they are located for as long as it takes. Each AW2 Soldier or veteran is assigned an AW2 advocate who assists with day-to-day issues in recovery, as well as longer-term decisions such as choosing to remain in the Army or to medically retire.

AW2 supports the most severely wounded Soldiers from overseas operations who have, or are expected to receive, an Army disability rating or 30 percent of greater in one or more specific categories or a combined rating of 50 percent or greater for conditions that are the result of combat or are combat-related.

AW2 injuries include vision loss, hearing loss, incurable disease, loss of limb, paralysis/spinal cord injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe burns, and traumatic brain injury.

What has the Army done?

Previous AW2 Symposium issues and recommendations contributed to the creation of expanded facilities to treat traumatic brain injuries and Soldier Family Assistance Centers. Of 39 issues presented to Army leadership at AW2 Symposiums, 17 have been selected as top issues at the Army Family Action Plan worldwide conferences.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

AW2, under the Warrior Transition Command (WTC), has the mission of providing personalized support to wounded warriors for as long as it takes.

Why is the AW2 Symposium important to the Army?

The AW2 Symposium is part of the Army's overall mission to improve care for wounded Soldiers, veterans, and their families. Issues raised at previous symposiums have contributed to changes in many aspects of warrior care and transition from greater emphasis on powers of attorney during pre-mobilization process to expansion of Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance coverage.

Resources:

Army Wounded Warrior Program

AW2 Blog

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