By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionJanuary 16, 2019
They don't just heal you and drop you
By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition
ARLINGTON, Va. - After a suicide bomber attack in Afghanistan in November 2009, now retired U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Dickerson sustained multiple injuries; a broken back, the loss of his right kidney and some of his hearing. Dickerson was assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to recover. "It was awesome to be able to serve and heal at the same time. It was peace of mind for my family too," said Dickerson. He was impressed on how the healing process included his entire family. "I think it's important because it's uplifting for the whole family- they [WCT] were there when we needed them," he added.
The husband and father of six had 13 surgeries and spent three years recovering from his physical injuries, but still he worried about life after the Army. He knew his injuries would not allow him to return to duty. He was also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Before leaving Fort Bragg, Dickerson was introduced to the Army Wounded Warrior Program and found his care was not exactly over. "[The Army doesn't] just heal you and drop you," Dickerson said. "I've gotten grants from AW2 when we were in need and I thank God they were there." Programs he says he was once unaware of assisted his family while he focused on their future.
He believes it's equally as important in recovery from injuries to not only work your physical therapy but also your fiscal therapy on claims, ratings, assistance...He offers this advice to other wounded warriors and their families. "Don't let this part linger. AW2 can help there as well. Take advantage of everything afforded to you at the WTU - look into AW2, CER and the works," he added.
Dickerson moved to Missouri after leaving the WTB and retiring from the Army in January 2013. Six years later, he and his family still have a close connection with AW2 and are very thankful to have the support.
"They keep us moving - as a family and that is crucial."