By Jenna Brady, U.S. Army Research LaboratoryNovember 7, 2012
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's SFC Paul Ray Smith, Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC), located in Orlando, Fla., actively participates in programs focused on supporting combat wounded warriors.
According to Mark Brzezinski, STTC's security manager, the organization has reached out to its local Wounded Warrior Transition Unit, which supports approximately 250 to 300 wounded warriors in the Southeast region.
STTC has provided several of these Soldiers with a productive worksite while they transition through the challenges of their injuries and medical treatments before either being returned to duty, or in some cases, medically released or retired.
"Engineers and employees get a chance to see, talk to and learn firsthand from what these Soldiers have experienced and are willing to share that will aid in the development of new and emerging technologies to help the Warfighter," said Brzezinski.
There are several nonprofit organizations that members of STTC are actively involved in.
Included in these organizations is Wounded Warrior Outdoors, which provides outdoor adventures to currently hospitalized combat wounded service members directly through our military hospital system.
Brzezinski is a captain for the Wounded Warrior Outdoors team that consists of 12 various military and non-military members including a group of wounded warriors from around the U.S. that will participate in the Ragnar Relay Key West 2013.
The team will run 200 miles from Miami to Key West, Fla. starting on Jan. 4, 2013.
"The team will be running with and alongside our wounded to provide motivation and confidence to them as they walk or run," stated Brzezinski. "Our goal is to raise awareness and resources for our injured and their families."
STTC is also aligned with Home At Last, whose goal is to provide mortgage free, accessible homes for combat wounded disabled veterans in appreciation for their service and sacrifice to our country.
The organization has built four homes in Orlando, Fla. for severely wounded warriors and has two more home projects currently underway.
Other organizations that STTC has partnered with include Operation Giveback, whose mission is to raise awareness and resources for our wounded warriors, their families and the children of our fallen heroes, and Fairways for Warriors, which is dedicated to providing a better quality of life for our wounded warriors by teaching them to play the game of golf.
In addition, STTC works closely with its local Association of the United States Army Sunshine Chapter, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and American Legion posts.
"This is a great organization that continues to show our support not only to the Warfighter in the field but those returning with the scars of war and helping them get back on their feet and return to both a mentally and physically healthy and productive life," added Brzezinski.