By Annette Gomes, Warrior Care and TransitionFebruary 5, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Deployments, separation anxiety and credit card debt, are among the many challenges military families may face at some point during their careers.
Its challenges like these that retired U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Dawsey says he faced during his 25 years of service in the military.
"After my service and in between deployments my anxiety got really bad. I felt safe in the Army and even more so while on deployment," Dawsey said. "The comfort of knowing who you were and your mission was soothing! Once I was home, it felt like the walls were closing in on me, all I wanted to do was be amongst my fellow Soldiers!"
After several injuries and illnesses, Dawsey was medically retired in 2014. The process of getting back on track physically and financially became his new mission.
The Warrior Transition Unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord guided him through the medical board and transition process. Dawsey, along with a collaborative team at the WTU, established his focused transition review, a detailed plan for transitioning out of the military.
Dawsey entered the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program, a major component of the Army's Warrior Care and Transition Program that supports severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and veterans. A valuable part of the program is the advocate who helps guide the Soldier throughout the recovery and transition process on the "Path to Independence" and educates the Soldier on the benefits and resources available to them. Dawsey was paired with an advocate, Jeremy Horsley who he credits with helping him set the goals to resolve his financial issues.
"Army Warrior Care and Transition was there to help me get back in shape financially by having amazing individuals like, Jeremy. He helped me stay mindful and motivated," Dawsey said. "The program allowed me to attend classes designed to educate me on the different issues that I was facing, and they provided me with a support system to help me through the process. I'm now a new home owner and trying to decide what career to pursue next. I wouldn't be where I am without the program."
The California native says while advocates provided the path, it was his deep spiritual belief that guided him in the right direction.
"The advocate program outside of my faith, has been that extra driving force that I needed to get me through it all. God is good all the time, but you to have do your part and having an advocate helped me to do just that!"