By Warrior Transition CommandOctober 31, 2011
Alexandria, VA--In November, the Army will observe Warrior Care Month. The theme is "Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit: Unlocking Unlimited Potential".
"Taking care of Soldiers is something we do every day, said Brig. Gen. Darryl Williams, Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Commander, Warrior Transition Command. "Observing Warrior Care Month allows us to highlight the significance of keeping Soldiers healthy and safe and taking care of them when they become wounded, ill or injured. At the Warrior Transition Command we are in the business of caring for the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers from the Active, Guard and Reserve.
According to Williams, most people think of the combat injured when they hear the term 'warrior care'. "Taking care of our combat-injured is warrior care," he said. "Warrior care is also preventing illnesses and keeping Soldiers healthy and ready to deploy. Warrior care is arming Soldiers with tourniquets that they can use with only one hand. It's having the best trained medics in the world standing shoulder to shoulder with our combat Soldiers.
He points out that Warrior care is an undertaking that encompasses a broad scope of efforts that extend beyond the battlefield including "understanding how to manage pain with medication and with complementary medicine such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga. Warrior care means building resilience and ensuring our men and women in uniform are strong in mind, body and spirit. Warrior care is our best researchers looking at how we can advance medicine, improve protective gear and deal with trauma and complex injuries. It's having a battle buddy who looks after you and a leader you can count on," Williams said.
Warrior Care Month is also a time to recognize all those who don't wear the uniform who support and care for our Soldiers, citing the Veterans Administration, Congress, Veterans organizations, corporate America, local communities and individual citizens as examples. "I'm reminded of retired Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he calls this a "Sea of Goodwill" of American support."
Across the Army in November, events are planned to honor the wounded, ill and injured men and women in uniform and to highlight what the Army and this nation do each day in the spirit of Warrior Care. For example, in Washington DC the Warrior Transition Command will support the Navy in a wheelchair basketball expo and clinic in the Pentagon on November 18. On November 22, the Warrior Transition Command will host a tri-service sitting volleyball tournament. More information on events at WTUs around the country is available on the WTC website at http://www.wtc.army.mil/.
Williams, speaking specifically about his job and about Warrior Transition Units (WTUs), outlines his three priorities for the wounded, ill and injured he represents -- education, training and employment. There are 29 Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) at Army installations and nine Community-Based Warrior Transition Units across the country. The WTU structure represents the way the Army supports Soldiers who require at least six months of complex medical care. Since 2007, through WTUs, the Army provides a standardized framework of care and support from medical appointments to adaptive or reconditioning sports programs and internships.
Standing behind them through each stage of recovery and transition is the Triad of Care -- a primary care manager, nurse case manager and squad leader -- as well as an interdisciplinary team of medical and non-medical professionals who work with Soldiers and their Families to ensure that they receive the support they deserve.
Williams said that while a WTU is a place for Soldiers to heal, it's also a place to plan for their future; a place to develop a good, solid way ahead for them and for their family. "Either way, when they leave these units my goals for them is that not only have they received the best medical care possible, but that they also have the education and training they need to succeed and that they have a job or career lined up. We owe them our best, and Warrior Care Month is a time to commemorate the importance of what we do throughout the year."