AW2 Symposium: Wounded Soldiers and their Families Vote Top Issues for Soldier Care

Thursday August 6, 2009

What is it?

The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Symposium brought together 63 severely wounded Soldiers, veterans, and family members as delegates to identify the most important issues to be addressed in wounded Soldier care and transition. This year's top issues are:

1. Concurrent receipt of retired and veterans affairs (VA) disability pay
2. Comprehensive psychoeducation for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)/traumatic brain injury (TBI) servicemembers, family members, and caregivers
3. VA education for Army Wounded Warrior Program Advocates
4. Stipend for primary caregivers of ill/injured servicemembers
5. Community support coordinators in geographically dispersed areas

The final issues were announced at the conclusion of the AW2 Symposium, which took place from July 8-14 in San Antonio, Texas.

What has the Army done?

Previous AW2 Symposium issues and recommendations contributed to the creation of expanded facilities to treat traumatic brain injuries and Soldier Family Assistance Centers. Of 39 issues presented to Army leadership at AW2 Symposiums- 17 have been selected as top issues at the Army Family Action Plan worldwide conferences.

Why is it important to the Army?

The AW2 Symposium is part of the Army's overall mission to improve care for wounded Soldiers, veterans, and their families. Issues raised at previous symposiums have contributed to changes in many aspects of warrior care and transition from greater emphasis on powers of attorney during pre-mobilization process to expansion of Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance coverage.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

AW2, under the Warrior Transition Command (WTC), has the mission of providing personalized support to wounded warriors for as long as it takes. Each AW2 Soldier or veteran is assigned an AW2 advocate who assists with day-to-day issues in recovery, as well as longer-term decisions such as choosing to remain in the Army or to medically retire.

AW2 supports the most severely wounded Soldiers from war on terror 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.

AW2 injuries include vision loss, hearing loss, incurable disease, loss of limb, paralysis/spinal cord injury, PTSD, severe burns and TBI.

Resources:

Army Wounded Warrior Program

AW2 Blog

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