Lasting Memories: WTU Recovery Opens Doors to New Business, New Baby, and Presidential Meeting

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Stratcom

A view of the fireworks over the South Lawn during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House where 12 servicemembers received a special tour.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A view of the fireworks over the South Lawn during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House where 12 servicemembers received a special tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Staff Sgt. Patrick Percefull will never forget his three deployments, saving the lives of numerous children by wrestling a buffalo and the upcoming birth of his son, but he recently added touring the White House and meeting the President to his memory bank.

“I was among 11 other military members selected for a tour and to meet the President during the Independence Day celebration,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Percefull who is assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), Fort Bragg, N.C. “We were taken into the White House and given a nice tour ending with a meeting with the President and First Lady.”

“This was a perfect American moment, and I’m honored that I was selected to attend,” he added. “It is such a significant event that I’ll hold with me forever.”

After 11 years of service, Percefull, who was shot in the shoulder and neck when his squad walked into an ambush in Afghanistan, credits his time at the Fort Bragg WTU as a wonderful experience, but decided to transition out of the military and focus on his efforts as an entrepreneur.

“I heard all of these stories, but every step of this process has been pretty smooth,” he added. “When I leave the military, I’ll be able to help my wife with the consignment store she bought with my deployment check, especially once the baby arrives.”

He understands the process is not the same for everyone, but offers some words of advice to other WTU Soldiers.

“No one’s going to take care of you like you, so Soldiers can’t be afraid to ask questions,” he said. “I was like others, not wanting to embarrass myself, but there’s a system in place to help and it saves a lot of grief.”

Percefull is speaking about the Comprehensive Transition Plan, a plan designed to be a roadmap for recovery and transition, with personal and professional milestones, such as passing a physical fitness test, taking college courses, or participating in internships and job training.

The CTP is developed by the Soldier in consultation with his or her Family, unit leaders, and health professionals.  Soldiers set short- and long-term goals in each of six domains: physical, spiritual, emotional, Family, social, and career. Soldiers meet with their interdisciplinary support team of clinical and non-clinical professionals on a regular basis to discuss their progress on these goals and how the WTU network can support them.

Percefull encourages others to seriously think about the future because a good support system and new career path can make the journey easier.

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