7 years ago
At my request, Jack Holt kindly made a transcript available from the bloggers interview with Colonel Rice who leads the Army Wounded Warrior Program. I was unavailable to participate in the interview, but here is a sample.
CHARLES “JACK” HOLT (chief, New Media Operations, OASD PA): All right, sir. Thank you very much.
COL. RICE: All right, well thank you for inviting me to talk to you about the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program. I’m honored to lead the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program and to serve the nation’s severely wounded, injured and ill soldiers and their families. This progress is here to serve those who have given so much to this country through their service. The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program follows the war ethos, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” We assist and advocate for severely wounded soldiers and their families for as long as they need us, wherever they are located. The primary way the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program makes a difference in their lives — in the lives of the severely wounded soldiers and their families, is by taking the time to really listen to their needs. Every soldier in this Program is assigned a specialist who gives them personalized recovery assistance in navigating government and non-profit organizations on their behalf to ensure they get the help and support their families need. Our soldiers gave us their best, and we now remain committed to giving them ours. The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program is part of a larger Army initiative that is focusing on providing more comprehensive services to our soldiers and their families. We are in the forefront of an important transformation that is building the health care model for the future for the military’s wounded warriors. For more information on this program, or to obtain support services, any soldier or his loved one can call: 1-800-237-1336. They can also visit our website at: www.aw2.army.mil, where I recently posted the first entry in our new Army Wounded Warrior blog. Please take the time to learn more about the Program, our dedicated staff, and the severely wounded soldiers we serve. As director of the Army Wounded Warrior Program, my duty is also my honor, and I will continue to work every single day to make sure that no soldier is left behind.
Read the whole interview. Those who have followed this humble blog for a while know that this is a pet issue of mine, this issues of wounded warriors, caring for our fallen and injured, and properly managing our health care for these brave men. Regarding the so-called Walter Reed scandal, I have weighed in that General Weightman was probably not the right man to sack when the scandal broke. The problems were an ineffective and inefficient Department of Defense bureaucracy that didn’t support the wounded warrior when he left Walter Reed and went home, not when he was there. But be that as it may, the message today was that we are under management that cares and understands that the DoD must treat this holistically.
The advancements in battlefield medical care (e.g., Navy Corpsmen, Marines qualified as combat lifesaver, etc.) have ensured a drop in battlefield deaths, and yet a commensurate increase in battlefield wounded and “disabled.” The goal, then, is to ensure that the term “disabled” doesn’t really apply – to rehabilitate, to retrain, and to enable. May God grant them success.
As one final followup item, my regular readers also know that TBI (traumatic brain injury, the signature wound of the war due to IEDs) is a pet concern of mine. Here are two very interesting links for your study.