There is always the potential for our nation’s Soldiers to be injured on the job. Be it during times of war or even during routine duties. No matter the cause, help is readily available through the Army Wounded Warriors Program.
Retired Lt. Col. Jill Buchanan, Little Rock District’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, was injured in the line of duty and when asked about her experience, she stated, “I had a plan lined up for what I wanted to do for [the next] 20 years and I had to start over. It was hard to adjust to that. It was frightening.”
Going through the painful recovery process is challenging enough, but having uncertainty about your future is also a scary thing.
Through the Army’s Wounded Warriors Program Soldiers have great resources available to them and their families in order to navigate through these difficult and uncertain times. The program assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, veterans, and their families wherever they are located regardless of military status.
Soldiers who qualify are assigned to the program as soon as possible after arriving at the hospital and being evaluated. If it is determined that the Solider will require at least six months of intensive care, they are transferred to a Warrior Transition Unit. The Wounded Warriors Program supports these Soldiers and their families throughout their recovery and transition, even into veteran status.
Part of the program includes the Warrior Care and Transition Program which evaluates and treats wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers through a comprehensive Soldier-centric process of medical care, rehabilitation, professional development, and achievement of personal goals.
The Solider is assigned an interdisciplinary team consisting of social workers, physical and occupational therapists, Wounded Warrior advocates, and many more.
The Warrior Transition Units help the soldier to establish short and long term career goals and identify opportunities to enhance existing skills or develop new ones based on the Soldier’’ transition track; whether they are remaining in the Army or transitioning from the Army to civilian status.
The Care and Transition Program pays for Soldiers to go to job fairs and this was how Buchanan heard about the Corps of Engineers. Additionally, Buchanan discussed how the Care and Transition Program also offered a Warriors to Work Program that allows a Soldier to, “Work in a federal agency in order to gain the experience they need to start a new career.”
Once discharged from the program soldiers are never forgotten. There are reunion luncheons, birthday calls and other events for Soldiers.
Soldiers aren’t just another number, they are people, and those who work for the Wounded Warriors Program understand this and do what they can to ensure that the soldiers know and experience this.