This April, the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) marks five years of service to severely wounded, injured, and ill Soldiers and their Families. I had the opportunity to meet with some of AW2’s Soldiers and their Families at last year’s Symposium in Indianapolis. I look forward to the same opportunity in 2009.
AW2 has a unique mission providing personalized support to the most severely wounded Soldiers and their Families. This is a critical mission in our Army. When Soldiers volunteer to serve we ask them to take a solemn oath to our country. In turn, the Army makes a commitment to Soldiers and Families. It is the solemn and honorable task for those of us here at home to care for our nation’s Soldiers who have raised their hands and sacrificed on behalf of our country.
The Army takes this mission very seriously.
The Army recently aligned warrior care services under one organization, the Warrior Transition Command (WTC). WTC provides Soldiers and Families with unified support from the battlefield to the home front. And now, as commander of the newly formed WTC, I am very proud to have AW2 integrated into our collective efforts, working side by side.
AW2 was the Army’s first program put in place to serve the most severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers—most returning from post-9/11 combat deployments. Over its five years in existence, AW2 has set the standard for care and compassion and its mission will not change under WTC.
The Army has not always gotten it right. The Army has, however, always worked to fix issues and to make improvements.
Soldiers serve our country every day on the front lines. As tough as their battles can be at war often the more difficult battles take place at home for wounded, injured, and ill Soldiers and their Families. It is our mission in Army warrior care to support Soldiers and Families as they heal, recover, and transition to their new normal. I am proud to be a part of this mission.
I look forward to continuing this noble endeavor with AW2, and I am counting on the continued dedication and enthusiasm of all who serve our wounded, ill, and injured heroes.
Thank you for your service.
BG Gary Cheek
Warrior Transition Command