By CSM Benjamin H. S. Scott, Jr., WTC Command Sergeant Major
November is Warrior Care Month, and this year’s theme is “Army Strong–Family Strong: caring for wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers by supporting their Families and caregivers.”
For Warriors in Transition (WTs), Families and Caregivers provide unparalleled support during a challenging time. They offer a sense of normalcy, of the familiar. They’re a shoulder to lean on and often the voice of reason when the WT needs to talk through difficult decisions.
Before joining WTC, I served at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where I worked with Soldiers who had just been medevaced from theater. And I met the spouses, parents, and other caregivers who had just flown halfway around the world, often on a red-eye flight, fearing the worst, leaving their children with relatives or friends. As I watched them, I saw the strength they mustered to encourage their Soldiers–a deep, enduring sense of fortitude that many of them didn’t know they had.
At WTUs, Families and caregivers continue to play an integral role in each WT’s recovery. You attend medical appointments, keep your WT on schedule, and participate in CTP scrimmages. And you make incredible sacrifices–sometimes living away from the rest of your Families and putting your own careers on hold. And for all you do to take care of your Soldier, you must take care of yourselves, too. Please utilize the resources available to you, the counseling services, the administrative resources at the SFAC, and all of the other programs the Army has in place. Speak up to your WT’s Squad Leader if there’s something you need.
I also want to speak to the children of WTs. I know this can be scary and challenging, when your parent is hurt. You’ve probably got a lot of questions and wonder when your life will get back to normal. These reactions are completely understandable, and I hope you’ll ask your questions and tell your parents how you feel. I also encourage you to embrace your Family’s “new normal” – life may be somewhat different than before your mom or dad was injured, but things will get better, and your Family will keep moving forward.
To all the Families and caregivers, I won’t say I know what you’re going through, because I don’t. But I do know that you’re standing tall when you feel like your world is falling apart. YOU are the unsung heroes of today’s conflicts. The Army, the nation can never fully repay you for your sacrifices. The Army understands that the strength of the Soldier starts with the Family, and that may never be more apparent than when the Soldier is injured. During Warrior Care Month, and throughout the year, I commend you for all you do.