By Emily Tower, West Point Pointer ViewMarch 6, 2009
Specialist Warren Goguen has a little trouble remembering people and appointments some times, and while he has expected Warrior Transition Units to which he has been assigned to understand this affect of the traumatic brain injury he sustained in the Middle East, none did until he came to West Point.
"They have treated me like a Soldier," Goguen said proudly. "Most of the time, I have been treated as less. But here, there is a warm feeling. I'm extremely happy they transferred me here."
Goguen described his memory loss as "terrifying" and said he is grateful the WTU helps him keep track of paperwork and appointments so he can concentrate on getting better.
The West Point WTU has been striving to help Soldiers recuperate from combat wounds, illnesses and other injuries for months, WTU Commander Capt. Curtis Edwards said.
Goguen and the rest of the unit were witnesses to the signing of an important contract Feb. 27.
Garrison Commander Col. Dan Bruno; Col. Mike Deaton, Keller Army Community hospital commander; and Edwards signed a giant copy of the Army Warrior Health-Care Covenant at Buffalo Soldier Pavilion. Soldiers for which the covenant is designed to serve commuted from parts of New England and New York to witness it.
The covenant was put into words last year and has been driving the West Point WTU's work since November, Edwards said. But signing a copy of the covenant--during the Army's Year of the Noncommissioned Officer--with the Soldiers watching was important, he said.
"We are committing back to the warriors and their Families and thanking them for their service," Edwards said.
"We want (wounded warriors) to understand the Army's commitment to them and know how important it is to us as an organization," he continued.
The Army Warrior Health-Care Covenant basically thanks wounded warriors and their Families and promises to provide help, programs and a positive environment to help Soldiers concentrate on healing their minds, bodies, hearts and spirits.
Deaton compared the covenant to the Army Values and Warrior Ethos because it places all WTUs under the same value system Armywide.
"It's following the same train of thought and philosophy," Deaton said.
Sgt. Scott Issler wished other WTUs to which he has been assigned had the covenant when he was assigned to them. He felt he was often ignored, and his needs were not met. When he came to West Point, though, he knew the covenant already was in place.
"They really do live by it," Issler said, explaining the unit worked diligently to get him appropriate housing, among other things. "They have done what they can for me and my Family. (The covenant) is not just a piece of paper."
The Army Warrior Health-Care Covenant
Aca,!Ac We are grateful for the contributions of warriors and their Families.
Aca,!Ac We will provide warriors and their Families the highest quality of care and services possible to honor their contributions to our nation.
Aca,!Ac We will provide the assistance needed by warriors and their Families during the healing process.
Aca,!Ac We will provide initiatives and programs for warriors and their Families that support their transition back to duty or their continued service to our nation as a veteran.
Aca,!Ac We will provide an environment that is conducive to healing by focusing on body, mind, heart and spirit.