By Patricia C. Sands, WTC Stratcom
Twenty-five organizations stood up to be part of the Community Support Exhibit Hall at the 2011 Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Symposium, and more wanted to attend. It’s a very heartfelt gesture when one considers the commitment in time and resources it takes to attend. However, this was not business as usual.
When companies and organizations attend events they have a goal in mind, usually to make money and expand their market. However, these 25 organizations are not at the 2011 AW2 Symposium to make money. Their goal is to see how they can serve our wounded warriors and their Families more effectively. They want to meet the community and the leaders of the Warrior Transition Command and AW2. They want to get the word out that they are here to help and support wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.
When reviewing the list of participating organizations below, please remember that their services and products are either free or are covered by insurance. Their efforts are from the heart.
Who are these generous organizations? They are as varied as the individual needs of the Soldiers, Veterans, and Families they support. They also run the gambit of expertise that cover each of the lifecycles that a wounded warrior works through. In addition, many are members of the AW2 Community Support Network, a group of organizations that are needed and vital to the AW2 Soldier, Veteran, and Family as they recover and assimilate back into the community.
I encourage wounded warriors and their Families to click the links below and get to know them.
- Air Compassions for Veterans (www.aircompassionforveterans.org)
- America Adopts a Soldier (www.americasadoptasoldier.org)
- America’s VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org)
- Bancroft (www.bancroft.org)
- Bob Woodruff Foundation (www.remind.org)
- Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, Inc. (www.childrenoffallensoldiersrelieffund.org)
- DHS/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (www.ice.gov)
- Disabled Sports USA (http://www.dsusa.org)
- DOD CAP Wounded Service member Initiative (http://cap.tricare.mil/wsm)
- Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind (www.freedomguidedogs.org)
- Give an Hour (www.giveanhour.org)
- Humana Military Healthcare Services (www.humana-military.com)
- Iraq Star Foundation (www.iraqstar.org)
- Lakeshore Foundation (www.lakeshore.org)
- National Resource Directory (www.NRD.gov)
- Naval Air Systems Command (http://nawctsd.navair.navy.mil)
- NISH/AbilityOne (www.abilityone.gov)
- Northrop Grumman Corporation (www.northropgrumman.com)
- Operation Homefront-FL (www.operationhomefront.net/fl)
- Raytheon (www.rayjobs.com/military)
- Segs4Vets (www.segs4vets.org)
- Shepherd Center/SHARE Initiative (www.shepherd.org/share)
- Tempered Steel, Inc. (www.TemperedSteelInc.org)
- U.S. Olympic Committee, Paralympic Military Program (www.usparalympics.org/military)
- USO (www.USO.org)
It doesn’t end with giving wounded warriors and their Families a link to each organization’s website. They will know more about each of these organizations as we follow them through the next year. We will detail their stories through articles and blogs. The more wounded warriors and their Families know, the more they can help. It is all about networking and communicating.
Maybe you, as a wounded warrior or Family member, will be the vital link to refer a resource to the AW2 Community Support Network. Maybe you will be the one to connect another wounded warrior to a much needed resource. The Army cannot do it all. It takes the whole community to work together to make a difference.