By Sgt. Fay Conroy, 21st TSC Public AffairsOctober 12, 2010
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - In recent years Warrior Transition Units have become an important tool in helping wounded Soldiers. The WTU is a place where Soldiers can take time to heal and effectively manage their medical appointments. The WTU can also act as a transition point if a Soldier is going through a medical or physical evaluation board.
At the WTU on Kleber Kaserne here, Soldiers are involved in a work program, which allows them the opportunity to work in a variety of positions within various military offices and throughout the community when not attending their required medical appointments.
"It helps motivate the Soldier, and it keeps them in the right frame of mind," said 1st Sgt. Dustin Jones, the first sergeant of the WTU on Kleber Kaserne. "With the Soldiers who are going to be medically boarded or transferred out of the military, we can work with them and put them in a work program that will help them when they get out of the military."
"If they have a certain field that they want to go into, we look at trying to place them in something that will benefit them when they do get out," he added.
One of those Soldiers is Spc. Donald Pritchard, a WTU Soldier who was a transportation management coordinator with 7th Civil Support Command.
"I'm also going to school for the same thing," said Pritchard, who is working in the intelligence office at the 7th CSC through the WTU work program. "I'm studying sociology and criminology, so this is right along my lines. As soon as I come off of active duty, hopefully I can go into the field."
Soldiers involved in the work program are also placed with non-military organizations such as the Red Cross or Stars and Stripes.
"I had previously volunteered on my own time at the USO Warrior Center helping out other wounded Soldiers there. I love helping out other wounded Soldiers. It's very fulfilling to do," said Sgt. 1st Class David McGuire, a WTU Soldier who works as a personal services volunteer with the Red Cross at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
McGuire visits the patient wards, bringing comfort items such as DVD players, books and handheld gaming systems.
"I have three combat tours in Iraq behind me, so I can relate to them more," said McGuire. "There are some times when I spend a good 20 minutes talking with a servicemember."
There are currently 23 Soldiers enrolled in the work program at the WTU. Organizations interested in hiring a WTU Soldiers should contact the WTU on Kleber Kaserne at 483-6498 or civilian 0631-411-6498.