By AW2 for STAND-TO!July 6, 2010
2010 AW2 Symposium: Wounded Warriors' and Families' Top Issues
What is it'
The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Symposium from June 21-25, 2010 brought together 65 severely wounded Soldiers, veterans, and family members as delegates to identify the most important issues to be addressed in wounded Soldier care and transition.
From intensive focus group discussions, based on the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) model, delegates prioritized the top five issues facing the Army's wounded warriors and presented them to Army leadership - along with recommended actions. This year's top issues are:
1. Medically retired servicemember's eligibility for Concurrent Receipt of Disability Pay (CRDP)
2. Post 9/11 GI Bill transferability to dependents for all medically retired service members
3. Mandatory PTSD/TBI training for VA healthcare staff
4. Transfer option from Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) to Permanent Disability Retired (PDR) for wounded warriors
5. Benefits and entitlements information to wounded warrior primary caregivers
What has the Army done'
Issues raised at previous symposiums that have been resolved range from expanded facilities to treat traumatic brain injuries to a stipend for primary caregivers of severely wounded servicemembers. Of the 43 issues presented to Army leadership from previous AW2 Symposiums-18 were selected as top issues at AFAP worldwide conferences.
Why is the AW2 Symposium important to the Army'
The AW2 Symposium is part of the Army's mission to improve care for wounded warriors and their families. Issues raised at previous Symposiums have contributed to lasting systematic changes in many aspects of warrior care.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future'
AW2, under the Warrior Transition Command (WTC), provides personalized support to wounded warriors for as long as it takes. Each severely wounded Soldier - such as those with amputations, burns, paralysis, vision loss, post traumatic stress disorder, or traumatic brain injury - is assigned a local AW2 advocate. The AW2 advocate fosters the Soldier's independence as they adapt to their injury and transition to life post injury whether back to duty or civilian status. The AW2 advocate even stays with the Soldier into veteran status.
AW2 supports the most severely wounded Soldiers who have, or are expected to receive, an Army disability rating or 30 percent of greater in one or more specific categories or a combined rating of 50 percent or greater for conditions that are the result of combat or are combat-related.
Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2)
Blog: Hats off to AW2 Symposium delegates