By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionMarch 22, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. -- U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Brandon Henderson-Adams enlisted in the Army in 1993 and received his commission in 2010. Over the years, he has cared for Soldiers overseas and now here at home.
"It just seemed right being in patient care and running clinics in theater to now be working with wounded warriors and their families," said Henderson-Adams of his role as an advocate with the Army Wounded Warrior Program. "You're going from providing care to just the Soldier to providing holistic support for the entire family. Care and support goes beyond the patient with AW2."
Henderson-Adams was named the 2017 AW2 Advocate of the Year for his work as an AW2 advocate at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He believes that advocacy at home is equally as important as treatment on the battlefield because you are helping the families. Henderson-Adams knows all too well about the hardships and stress that families go through during deployments having been deployed multiple times himself. He used his experience and that of his wife Jennifer and their five daughters in his job, but knows there is a distinct difference compared to wounded warriors and their families. He credits AW2 with being a lifeline for families.
"Receiving the care for severe wounds, injuries, or illnesses is hard enough in normal settings. In military settings it's much more difficult, especially for the family."
AW2 advocates help those severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers with everyday tasks like setting appointments to helping with funeral or memorial arrangements and understanding survivor benefits.
"It takes a special person with a genuine appreciation to be an advocate. You don't have to be prior service or military you just need to have compassion, drive and resilience to do this job well and support our Soldiers and families effectively."
Henderson-Adams recently received a Commander's Award for Civilian Service from AW2. The 41 year old has moved on from his role as an AW2 advocate and is the new the business manager for cardiology service at Walter Reed. He looks back fondly on his time as an AW2 advocate knowing he made a positive impact in people's lives and them in his.
"[Being an AW2 advocate] is not for everyone, but it's good for everyone."