FORT LIBERTY N.C. - Having someone in your corner when you need help is a plus. Lawyers, counselors, teachers, planners, and more all advocate for many in need. Soldiers have Recovery Care Coordinators (RCC’s) who go to the mat for them when they separate from the Army. At a recent conference of RCC’s from all over the country, Col. Faith Junghahn, who worked with the program as a U.S. Army Major years ago, gave the final talk at this year’s Biennial Training for ARCCD at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, June 30th.
“What are your roots?”, asked Col. J (as she likes to be called). She went on to explain how people think this role came about after Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom to help today’s Soldiers to which she informed was not true. The current commander of the only medical unit in the Reserves overseas, explained lessons learned from each conflict and how Army Medicine progressed the program to what it is today.
“From the Civil War this program was born. It started to take shape at the end of WWI. It started to bloom with the advocacy of Vietnam Veterans.”
Everything from immediate care to medical benefits, family care, future employment, pensions and more have evolved over the last 150+ years. Still to this day the hardest part for any wounded, ill or injured Soldier is when they separate from the Army. That’s where RCC’s come in to play.
“The RCC’s are the mainstay given their history just over the last 20 years because they have internally within their program and with the longevity of those serving in the role the ability to carry us forward on the things that are going to be lost. Things like benefits and our network with the communities. They have strong relationships with our communities and how they will support Soldiers.”
Col. J is also a Nurse Case Manager in the North Carolina National Guard, and shared how the community support where she is from is vital to Soldiers.
“Our community here in North Carolina has one of the largest subsets of Soldiers with injuries living in the community and to see the rally of support for our Soldiers and having this Army Recovery Care Program gives them something to attach to. It’s amazing.”
Making sure RCC’s recognize how important their role is to Soldiers, families and Veterans was clear along with her unwavering support to help in any way. As times change and policies improve the mission never changes. The takeaway she stressed is getting information to those in need.
“Even though folks will see the military influx and constantly changing just know this program will be here to help the families and their loved ones. It shows families how great it is to serve and that the Army, even after you serve is there for you. For the Soldiers and their families.”