By Lee M. Packnett, Warrior Care and TransitionFebruary 24, 2017
VANCOUVER, Canada -- Imagine participating in one of seven winter sports: sledge hockey, alpine skiing and snowboarding, bobsledding, skeleton, cross-country skiing and dog-sledding and hearing the crowd chant, RTD, RTD, RTD? For Sgt. Aleksei Furniss and Spc. Mark Ehrenreich, this is the track they follow in their healing and recovery at the Fort Riley Warrior Transition Unit.
The two Soldiers in transition are taking advantage of a first-time opportunity for Army Wounded Warriors to participate in the Allied Winter Sports Camp, Soldier On hosted by the Canadian Department of Defence and the Canadian Paralympic Committee here in Vancouver, British Columbia.
"Return to duty was the only option for me as I began my healing and recovery at the Fort Riley Warrior Transition Unit" said Spc. Ehrenreich, an Indirect Fire Infantryman (11C) who was days away from a deployment before being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre 'Syndrome and accepted into the Warrior Care and Transition Program. "Returning to my unit and resuming my military career was the only path for me and I credit my Triad of Care and especially my Nurse Case Manager for guiding me in my recovery," Ehrenreich stated prior to participating in alpine skiing for the first time, ever.
Sgt. Aleksei Furniss, an AH-64D Apache Block III Repairer (15R), and the only accomplished alpine skier among the U.S. Army participants, was one of the first to volunteer when the request came to the Fort Riley WTU. "It is an opportunity I wanted to take full advantage of," said Furniss. "Becoming a member of the WTU cadre is another opportunity I want to accomplish," added Furniss who has been at the Fort Riley WTU since October.
The U.S. Army's warrior care program serves an essential role, not only in managing the care and recovery of Soldiers evacuated from theater, but also for those preparing to deploy and for those who have returned from combat that require complex care management to cope with the effects of war and multiple deployments. Warrior Care and Transition ensures that everything possible is done to enable Soldiers to return to duty. The program also plays an important role in ensuring Reserve Component Soldiers receive the care they require prior to and after deployment to remain mission ready. For more information on the DCS, WCT visit: www.WCT.army.mil, talk to us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/armyWCT or Twitter at http://twitter.com/armyWCT.