By Frederick Poole, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine CommandMay 25, 2012
FORT EUSTIS, Va. (May 25, 2012) -- Recruits join the Army and transition from civilians to Soldiers with the help and mentoring of instructors and experienced Soldiers; however, Soldiers leaving the Army need the same support when they transition back to civilian life.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's deputy commanding general highlighted the importance of those who provide support to Soldiers after Army life when he recognized five Wounded Warrior mentors for their service May 23.
Lt. Gen. John Sterling presented Tony Nadal, Tony Ross, Glenn Rother, T.C. Smith and Steven Bay with certificates of appreciation and TRADOC coins during a ceremony at the Fort Eustis Club, where he thanked them for their dedication and effort.
"Being able to recognize these guys is tremendous because of what they do," Sterling said.
Sterling, who will be making his own transition to civilian life after his retirement ceremony next week, said the mentors "give wounded Soldiers the confidence to move forward into civilian life and provide a view that those of us still in uniform cannot."
"These Soldiers transitioning out of the Army are wondering about their future and they have questions about who they are, but someone who has been through the same thing can talk to these Soldiers give them confidence and sound advice," Sterling said.
During the ceremony, mentors briefly spoke about their background and why they chose to volunteer the program.
"For the last 50 years of my life, I've been taking care of Soldiers because it's something I like doing," said retired Col. Tony Ross, who previously served as the deputy director of the Armed Forces Retirement Home after retiring from the Army. "I welcome the opportunity to work as a mentor, and I will continue to help Soldiers."
Earlier this year, retired Col. Tony Nadal, Wounded Warrior Mentors Program director, began the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program at the Wounded Warrior Transition Unit at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
Nadal's inspiration to start the program came from the West Point class of 1958. This class organized a mentoring program at Walter Reed for Wounded Soldiers and as a member of that class he wanted Soldiers at JBLE to have the same support.
"We are attempting to help Soldiers in the process of planning their future, to include assistance with developing interviewing skills, resume writing and career choices," Nadal said. "All of us have had successful military and civilian careers, and our experience is helpful to them."
Currently, the program consists of 15 retired military officers and senior noncommissioned officers who volunteer their time to assist Soldiers in reaching a new and meaningful future once their military career concludes; however, according to Nadal, the program is in need of volunteers because of the waiting list of Soldiers who are seeking mentors.
Nadal said the program is seeking former military officers or senior noncommissioned officers who can offer their time and commitment. Volunteers will be trained prior to mentoring Soldiers.
Those interested in volunteering can call Tony Nadal at 757-258-3999 or email email@example.com.