Army Chaplain’s Faith Strengthened Through Working with Wounded Soldiers

By Chaplain (MAJ) B. Vaughn Bridges, Warrior Transition Brigade Chaplain, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Guest Blogger*

CH Bridges Praying

CH (Maj.) B. Vaughn Bridges, WRNMMC, prays with Soldiers and their Families during a Navy Lodge dinner. (Photo courtesy of CH (Maj.) B Vaughn Bridges)

In October 2013, I began serving as the Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) Chaplain at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Maryland.  Shortly after my arrival at the WTB, I had the privilege of meeting with WTB Soldiers and their Families at our monthly evening meal in the Navy Lodge.  This setting provides many ministry opportunities for military personnel who have been wounded in combat, injured and those with illnesses and other medical concerns.

Every day presents its own unique challenges and opportunities for ministry.  As one example, a Soldier and her mother requested to speak with me when I arrived in my new position as WTB chaplain.  They just wanted to come by to say hello and have a discussion about spiritual matters, just like they had done with the former WTB Chaplain.  The Soldier explained to me that when she first received the news from the doctor that her condition was incurable, she put her trust in God to help her cope with such a hopeless prognosis.  She also recalled her own experience with despair when the doctors said there was nothing else they could do.  As I reflected on our conversation, I was astonished with the Soldier’s faith and acceptance and her ability to reflect, having the personal awareness to articulate her thoughts and feelings as she embraced this difficult challenge in her life.

This Soldier, knowing that she might not be healed, experienced a crisis of faith.  She chose to have hope in God.  During our conversation, I was reminded of the words of the late great preacher and theologian James S. Stewart from Scotland.  Stewart wrote, “Let us consider the most inescapable ‘Either/Or’ of life; either despair – or faith.  Either blank, unrelieved pessimism, or a gambler’s throw with your soul.  Either darkness and futility and ultimate night, or the vision of God standing within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”

Ministry with wounded, ill and injured warriors provides us with many teachable moments.  My own faith increases and is strengthened when I meet people like this Soldier who choose to embrace life’s struggles with such courage and resilience.  As the WTB chaplain, I seek to offer hope as I build and nurture relationships with these warriors by listening to their story.


*Note: The expressed comments and views of guest bloggers do not reflect the views of WTC or the United States Army.

Army Impresses at Joint Services Sitting Volleyball Tournament

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Communications Division

SVB Team

Army’s Sitting Volleyball athletes listen to the National Anthem before the start of the third annual sitting volleyball tournament held at the Pentagon on November 21. (Photo LuAnn Georgia, WTC Communications Division)

Exciting, fast-paced and inspirational were a few words used to describe the Third Annual Joint Services Sitting Volleyball Tournament hosted by the Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

“This event is a big deal, and I am happy and nervous to be an Army representative and looked forward to the level of competition,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Hall, assigned to the Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“For a while I didn’t know what activities were out there that I could do,” Hall explained. “I think sitting volleyball is a great sport that puts everyone, regardless of injury, on an even level.”

The annual event consisted of Service members and Veterans from every branch of the military and the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) competing against each in an adaptive reconditioning event that highlights the importance of remaining active after injury and illness.

“I think the event went pretty good, and we were definitely holding our own against the other teams,” Hall added. “The coach was great, and I would compete again.”

J.D. Malone, the Army’s sitting volleyball coach, had nothing but good things to say about the team and Hall’s performance during the tournament. “I’m pretty amazed that they came together so fast, and Hall was a team player who would take what was asked of him and go back to the net and execute it.”

“In two days, the athletes learned to aggressively play at the net, and they were able to serve with accuracy,” said Malone. “At one point, I could call a zone on the court, and the athletes were serving to that area.”

SVB team in action

Soldiers assigned to Warrior Transition Units prepare to block a serve by a member of the Special Operations Command’s team at the third annual sitting volleyball tournament held at the Pentagon on November 21. (Photo LuAnn Georgia, WTC Communications Division)

For the past two years, Army secured a spot in the final rounds, but this year the Army’s team competed for third place against the SOCOM’s team.

“Sitting volleyball is pretty interesting especially if you’re not extremely mobile.” said Hall. “It lets you still play outside the normal perimeters and try something new.”

Hall said he was happy to be a part of a team and still experience activities despite his injuries. “I’ve always been pretty athletic and into sports, so with limited ability I thought I would be more of a watcher instead of a doer, but I realize that’s not true,” he said.

To watch a recap of the action, visit DVIDS and to learn more about adaptive reconditioning benefits and programs visit the WTC website.

Did You Know? Transition Coordinators

By Amanda Koons, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that Transition Coordinators (TC) assist eligible Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers with career and education goals according to their selected career path?

You may already know a lot about the interdisciplinary team that works together to help wounded, ill and injured Soldiers focus on their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Cadre members provide support and guidance to Soldiers and their Families in developing the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) and play a positive and active role throughout the Soldier’s transition plan. You can learn more about the Cadre on the Cadre Roles and Responsibilities section of the WTC website.

What you may not know is that there is one individual who serves as the Program Manager for Career and Education Readiness (CER): the Transition Coordinator (TC). The TC assists WTU Soldiers with Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities according to the Soldier’s career and education goals. CER activities may include internships, worksite placements, training, professional certificates and education programs (including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs).  Whether the Soldier goes back to duty or into their civilian communities, the TC focuses on the next step in the Soldier’s career. TCs specialize in navigating career and education options based on the Soldier’s individual circumstances.

TCs are available by walk-in or by appointment. If you are unsure who your TC is, check with your Squad Leader. While not all units currently have a full-time TC, but all units have someone acting in the TC role, with designated TC responsibilities. There are currently 37 TCs across the country, including 17 full-time TCs at WTU brigades or battalions and 20 part-time TCs at Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs).

Interested in an internship that can bolster your résumé and help you gain valuable skills? Maybe you would like to first return to school to earn a degree in a new field? Or maybe you would prefer to take a training course or gain a certificate to explore a new career? Your Transition Coordinator can help you get started in any of these next steps for your career and education.

U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Veterans have similar transition resources available. The AW2 Career and Education Section provides direct resume referral to a network of employers with an expedited hiring process for severely wounded, ill and injured Veterans.  They also educate employers about reasonable accommodations. Contact your AW2 Advocate to discuss your personal situation and career goals.

“Did You Know?” Series

Using your feedback, the WTC Communications Division identified five topics where wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Families and Cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

1)   Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)

2)   Community Support Network

3)   Internships

4)   Adaptive Reconditioning

5)   Transition Coordinators

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your Career and Education Readiness (CER) story? Post a comment here or email us at


Wounded Soldier Uses Adaptive Reconditioning to Assist Others As He Continues to Serve

By WTC Communications Division

Pascascio Archery

After significant injuries in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Giovanni Pascascio discovered how much more he can still offer the Army while recovering at a WTU.

Army Staff Sgt. Giovanni Pascascio will always remember July 8, 2007. “You kinda remember the day you got blown up.”

During his second deployment to Iraq, a truck full of explosives detonated near his squad’s convoy. Pascascio sustained second and third degree burns over 30 percent of his body, shrapnel wounds to his body and inhalation injuries from the fire.

Pascascio and eleven other Soldiers will compete in the Third Annual Joint Services Warrior Care Month Sitting Volleyball Tournament hosted by the Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Athletes will represent the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“No matter if the Army wins or loses, it is about everyone coming together as a team, competing and celebrating. But I am rooting for the Army all the way,” he said. “I hope Army wins.”

“Sitting volleyball is completely different than regular volleyball. It doesn’t look hard, but when you get out there to play it’s a different story. “You have to use your core a lot and it helps with stability and balance.”

Nearly a month and a half after his injury, he woke up at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

At the Warrior Transition Battalion, Pascascio developed a personalized Comprehensive Transition Plan with short- and long-term goals across six domains of life: physical, social, spiritual, emotional, Family, and career. His journey in meeting his goals included adaptive reconditioning programs, including archery and sitting volleyball. He credits both sports with helping him recover mentally and physically.

“The command at the WTB encouraged me to explore new things,” said Pascascio. “Learning to play sitting volleyball was another challenge that I faced head on.”

After a Physical Evaluation Board found him physically unfit for duty, Pascascio applied for Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) status, a program that allows soldiers meeting certain criteria to continue serving.

He was assigned to the 7th Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany to develop plans for accommodating wounded, ill and injured soldiers at the academy. He mentored many of them, relying heavily on his own recovery experience.

“I know what they’ve been through, and I was able to say I’ve been there. I’ve done that. These guys may not be able to do everything physically, but they can accomplish a lot.” Pascascio said.

Pascascio currently serves at the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), supporting the Army’s most severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans and their Families.

“He serves as the AW2 Advocate Support Branch (ASB) Operations noncommissioned officer in charge and provides additional insight into the Soldiers and Veterans in this program because at one time he was going through this process,” explained Venus Bradley, AW2 ASB Division Chief and Pascascio’s supervisor. “He has been a great contributor and an asset to our team.”

“Pascascio epitomizes what a Soldier and a noncommissioned officer is, and we are fortunate to have him on our team,” said Bradley. “We look forward to supporting him during the tournament in the same way he has and continues to support our severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans.”

Watch the joint services sitting volleyball tournament at, and to learn more about Warrior Transition Units or COAD, visit

Did You Know? Adaptive Reconditioning

By Amanda Koons, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that adaptive reconditioning contributes to a successful recovery for Soldiers, whether they are transitioning back to active duty or to civilian life? Adaptive reconditioning includes activities and sports that wounded ill and injured Soldiers participate in regularly to optimize their physical, cognitive and emotional well-being.

You may already know a lot about adaptive reconditioning. You may have even participated in one of WTC’s Warrior Games training and selection clinics.  In fact, adaptive sports is one of the most highly featured topics on the WTC blog with 111 posts, including coverage of Warrior Games since 2010. You can read past blog posts by clicking “Adaptive Sports” on the right hand side of the page.

What you may not know is how adaptive reconditioning plays an important role in the six domains of the Soldier’s Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). The CTP supports Soldiers with personalized goals in six areas: career, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and Family.  Adaptive reconditioning connects activities and sports with each of the six CTP domains. One adaptive reconditioning event at a WTU may positively support goals in different domains for different Soldiers. Let us know what you learned in the comments section below.

Career – Adaptive reconditioning supports career goals by helping Soldiers build the confidence and self-esteem necessary to develop their career. Adaptive reconditioning may also provide opportunities to network and meet people with shared knowledge and goals. Finally, adaptive reconditioning may open doors to internships, shadowing opportunities, certified educational courses and activities that assist with promotion points.

Physical – Adaptive reconditioning supports physical goals through physical reconditioning based on guidance from the Adaptive Reconditioning team and WTU physical therapist. Competition is available through the Warrior Games, Endeavour Games, Valor Games, National Wheelchair Games and many other high level competitive events.

Emotional – Adaptive reconditioning supports emotional goals by building self confidence and helping Soldiers heal emotionally. Activities such as fishing, horseback riding, music and art provide Soldiers with a calm arena to recover.

Spiritual – Adaptive reconditioning supports spiritual goals by assisting Soldiers in strengthening a set of beliefs, principles or values that sustain and provide resiliency to a person.

Social – Adaptive reconditioning supports social goals through team building, developing leisure skills and exploring new communities. Programs in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, water polo and track relays are great at team building.

Family – Adaptive reconditioning supports Family goals by building stronger Family bonds if Family members are able to participate and develop new skills that they can use as a Family group. Adaptive Reconditioning can introduce Soldiers and their Families to new activities or a new way to enjoy a past activity.

“Did You Know?” Series

Using your feedback, the WTC Communications Division identified five topics where wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Families and Cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

1)   Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)

2)   Community Support Network

3)   Internships

4)   Adaptive Reconditioning

5)   Transition Coordinators


Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your adaptive reconditioning story? Post a comment here or email us at

Army Athletes Win Big at World Competition

By Emily D. Anderson, Warrior Transition Command Communications Directorate

Army Warrior Games medalist Spc. Elizabeth Wasil won three gold medals in racing wheelchair at the 2013 PARA CISM Track and Field Games in Germany.

Army Warrior Games medalist Spc. Elizabeth Wasil won three gold medals in racing wheelchair at the 2013 PARA CISM Track and Field Games in Germany.

Wounded, ill and injured athletes from 16 nations proved ready and resilient when they arrived in Warendorf, Germany to compete in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) 2013 World Para-Track and Field Championships,Sept. 9-16.

Among the competitors were Sgt. Ryan McIntosh and Spc. Elizabeth Wasil. They represented the U.S. Armed Forces during one of the largest multi-sport discipline events in the world.

“I am so passionate about sports,” said Wasil, a Prescott Valley, Ariz., and assigned to the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). The WCAP provides outstanding Soldier-athletes with support and training to compete and succeed in national and international competitions leading to Olympic and Paralympic Games while maintaining a professional military career.

She reached new goals by winning first place in the women’s 100-meters, 200-meters and 1500-meters racing wheelchair competition. She also cinched a third-place finish in the men’s 1500-meters racing final.

“I was just honored to be a part of this event because this was a chance to take it to a higher echelon of competition,” said Wasil, who sustained bilateral hip injuries while on assignment in Afghanistan in 2010 as a combat medic. Her injuries impeded her ability to walk and required her to undergo three surgeries to restructure her hips in order to regain mobility.

“While competing, I had the honor to compete with athletes from many other countries,” Wasil said. “Some who had been injured serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and this brought me an overwhelming amount of gratitude for all of those outside of the United States who stood and still stand with us.”

“It was humbling to know these ‘strangers’ not only said I will stand beside a country that is not my own but I will continue to love and support them even when I have been injured during that service,” she added. “At no time did I feel I was competing against another country, but with them.”

McIntosh attests to Wasil’s unparalleled ability that continues to propel her military and athletic career despite her injuries.

“We have trained together at previous events,” said McIntosh referring to Warrior Games, a unique partnership between the Department of Defense and U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Program. “It was fun to watch her compete and to know how far she’s come – to see where she is now.”

During the competition, McIntosh, assigned as the adaptive sports noncommissioned officer in charge, and the ceremonies’ noncommissioned officer in charge at the Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, left an impression by winning silver in the 100-meters and 200-meters men’s para-track events.

“It was fun a new experience, and to compete at that high level is amazing,” said McIntosh, a right leg below the knee amputee resulting from stepping on a pressure plate land mine while deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.

“When I lost my leg I didn’t think I would be doing sports,” added McIntosh, who recently applied for WCAP. “Now I’m doing anything and everything that I can.”

The United States Armed Forces has been a member of the CISM since 1951 and holds CISM Military World Championships or events each year. The CISM represents the highest level of military athletic competitiveness, and often includes Olympians and world champions. The U.S. Delegation competes in 19 of the 26 sports offered, averaging around 12-15 sports annually. CISM championships are hosted around the world and provide a venue for the United States to project a positive image through military-to-military  sports engagement.

Macintosh’s and Wasil’s accomplishments are examples of the benefits of adaptive reconditioning. Adaptive reconditioning activities and sports are valuable components in the recovery process of wounded, ill or injured Soldiers recovering at WTUs.  Reconditioning activities aid the recovery process and promote social, physical, spiritual, Family and career goals. Learn more about adaptive reconditioning benefits and programs by visiting


Wintergreen Adaptive Sports Helps Wounded, Ill and Injured Servicemembers Hit the Slopes

Lt. Col. Danny Dudek takes on the slopes at Wintergreen Resort (photo provided by Lt. Col. Danny Dudek)

Lt. Col. Danny Dudek takes on the slopes at Wintergreen Resort (photo provided by Lt. Col. Danny Dudek)

By:  LuAnn Georgia, Warrior Transition Command Stratcom Division

With fall beginning, many people like Lt. Col Danny Dudek are looking forward to a break from the heat and a chance to get back to winter weather activities. Dudek, an avid sports fan and eight-time medal winner at Warrior Games for swimming, is looking forward to getting back on the slopes with the Wintergreen Adaptive Sports Program.

This will be Dudek’s third year skiing with the Wintergreen Adaptive Sports crew, and he is excited to share their story and what it’s meant to him.

“After becoming disabled in Iraq, I started looking for things I could do. I was looking for things I could enjoy and that I’d have the ability to improve on to a level of independence. Downhill alpine skiing falls into that category for me,” Dudek said. The Wintergreen Adaptive Sports program opened up new options for Dudek.  “I learned that it doesn’t matter what your injury level is, they have a way of getting anyone on the snow. Once I was up the mountain, I was able to work towards skiing independently. I was able to ski every slope and, although I did end up sliding down hill on my back sometimes, I truly loved it.”

In addition to their ongoing programs, for the past 10 years Wintergreen Resort in Wintergreen, Va. has held a Wounded Warrior Weekend. Although the event is called Wounded Warrior Weekend, Dudek pointed out “the focus is not just on the warrior. There’s skiing instruction, tubing, warming rooms, and activities for spouses, parents and kids. No one is left out, and at the end of last year’s event you could tell that everyone left happy and exhausted.”

With support from Disabled Sport USA, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports provides food, cold weather clothes and equipment for the weekend to all athletes, regardless of the injury or disability.

“Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard Seamen and Soldiers all participate and have a story to tell,” said Dudek. “The injuries and disabilities are as varied as each service member’s background. What’s special about the event is that the whole Wintergreen, Va. community gets involved. There were over 30 families that opened up their homes to wounded warrior Families last year.  They provided a place to rest and encouraged interaction without expecting anything in return.”

“I can’t wait until it starts snowing again.  I have my equipment all ready and am looking forward to improving on my skills and what I was able to do last year.  I may even attempt to go on the terrain park and enjoy some of the jumps.  Who knows,“ said Dudek.

The WTC Community Support Network lists resources that offer products and services that are either free, covered by insurance, or significantly reduced in price with all costs being disclosed up front and prior to any agreement between the organization and all wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families, and Caregivers. The Wintergreen Adaptive Sport Program, a WTC Community Support Network member, offers winter and summer programs to individuals with cognitive and or physical disabilities.  Both programs offer a wounded military weekend during January and August. Scholarships are available to those unable to pay. For more information about how you can participate, visit

Learn more about the WTC Community Support Network and the resources and assistance provided by more than 350 organizations by visiting

Did You Know? Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)

By Amanda Koons, WTC Stratcom

Did you know that servicemembers who incurred a permanent catastrophic injury or illness may be eligible for a monthly financial compensation called Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)? SCAADL helps offset the loss of income by a primary Caregiver who provides non-medical care, support and assistance for the servicemember. Read on to see who qualifies for SCAADL, what steps you should take to apply and where you can go to find more information.

1.)  Do I qualify for SCAADL?

You may qualify for SCAADL if you are a servicemember who:

  • Has a catastrophic* injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty;
  • Has been certified by a Department of Defense (DoD) or Veterans Affairs (VA) physician to be in need of assistance from another person to perform the person functions required in daily living or required constant supervision;
  • Would, in the absence of this provision, require some form of residential institutional care (i.e. hospitalization or nursing home care); and
  • Is not currently in inpatient status in a medical facility.

*Catastrophic: A permanent severely disabling injury, disorder or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty that the Secretary of the military department concerned determines compromises the ability of the afflicted person to carry out activities of daily living to such a degree that the person requires person or mechanical assistance to leave home or bed or constant supervision to avoid physical harm to self or others.

2.)  What steps should I take to apply?

SCAADL is not automatic. Soldiers must actively apply. If you believe you qualify for SCAADL, contact a member of your recovery team, such as your primary care manager, nurse case manager, AW2 Advocate or unit leadership for the SCAADL application and guidance.

Your DOD or VA physician will complete a DD Form 298. If your attending physician is not affiliated with DOD or VA, your recovery team can make arrangements to have a DOD or VA physician review your case and complete the certification. Your application (DD Form 2948) will be forwarded, via your chain of command, to the Warrior Transition Command.

3.)  Where can I go to find more information?

Your first resource for information about SCAADL is your recovery team, including your primary care manager, nurse case manager, AW2 Advocate or unit leadership. In addition, the following electronic resources are available to you:

“Did You Know?”Series

Using your feedback, WTC Stratcom identified five topics where wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Families and cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

  1. Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)
  2. Community Support Resources
  3. Internships
  4. Adaptive Reconditioning
  5. Transition Coordinators

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Post a comment here.


Research Key for Soldiers Finding Employment

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom

As employment for our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers continues to be an important focus for Army leadership, these Soldiers and Veterans need to do their part by researching their chosen career field with resources available to assist with the job hunt.

It’s important that Soldiers start the Army Career and Alumni Program process as early as possible and take Transition Assistance Program workshops seriously. Soldiers who are serious about transitioning successfully into a civilian job or career should do the research and go the extra mile.

This can be a difficult choice for Soldiers who want to return to duty versus leave the military. However, they should have a plan b such as going to college or getting an extra certification. Employment experts also encourage Soldiers to consider their hobbies when considering job opportunities. What they enjoy doing  is as important as their knowledge, skills, and professional abilities. 

Experts also point out that Soldiers should make sure what they want to do will provide financially for their Family and take into consideration the cost of living and the salaries of different geographic locations. They recommend that Soldiers talk to their employment and education counselors and come in with a well thought-out plan and a willingness to try something new. 

There are several career and education resources available. Soldiers and Veterans looking for additional assistance can visit:

Army Career & Alumni Program (ACAP) – ACAP helps Soldiers transitioning from military service make informed career decisions through benefits counseling and employment assistance. ACAP is responsible for delivering both transition assistance and employment assistance services. While the ACAP Center traditionally has been the principal service provider for these services, now those transitioning have the option to use the ACAP website to receive services from any location with Internet capability 24/7. 

Department of Labor – Each state’s Department of Labor employs Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives and Local Veterans Employment (LVER) Representatives who work in the one Stop Career Centers. To find your local DVOP/LVER use the DVOP/LVER locator website.

Hero 2 Hired – Hero2Hired (H2H) was created to make it easy for servicemembers to connect to and find jobs with military-friendly companies. H2H also offers career exploration tools, military-to-civilian skills translations, education and training resources, as well as a mobile app. Support for H2H is provided through the Department of Defense’s Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command – Serves as the lead proponent for the U.S. Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program. WTC ensures that non-clinical processes and programs that support wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers are integrated and optimized throughout the Army, and supports the Army’s commitment to the rehabilitation and successful transition of wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers back to active duty or to Veteran status.

Warrior Games Assessment and Selection Clinics Underway

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom

U.S. Army SSG Charles Baird, currently assigned to the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit, takes aim during the Army archery and sitting volleyball assessment and selection clinic for the 2013 Warrior Games.

The U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command Warrior Games assessment and selection clinics are currently being held throughout the United States to find the best athletes to represent the Army during the annual Warrior Games.

“The clinics are really good because it gives me a chance to get active and be a part of a team again,” said SGT Jeremy Bowser, currently assigned to B Company, Fort Drum Warrior Transition Unit. “I feel I’m getting involved and not just sitting around doing nothing. “

The first multi-sport clinic was held in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the last week of October and the second multi-sport clinic will take place November 4 – 9, 2012, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Fort Belvoir clinic included specialized training in archery and sitting volleyball, and the Fort Bliss clinic will include cycling and swimming activities.

“Providing opportunities to compete and rebuild confidence in their abilities is the primary reason we’re holding these clinics, but we also want Soldiers and Veterans to try the different reconditioning activities.” said LTC Keith Williams, Adaptive Reconditioning Branch Chief, Warrior Transition Command. “This is the athletes chance to see if there’s another sport they would really enjoy doing.”

“Bringing awareness to the different types of activities available is the one of the reasons we host clinics and camps on military bases or highly populated military areas,” Williams added. “Our primary camps and clinics focus on holistically reconditioning our Soldiers in each of the six Comprehensive Transition Plan domains.”

Since 2010, nearly 200 wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers and Veterans competed annually at Warrior Games, a unique partnership between the Department of Defense and U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Program. Warrior Games’ athletes  compete in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, track and field, archery, and competitive shooting. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the athletes or team members who place first, second, or third  in their events respectively.

“It’ll be exciting if I make the team because I’ve never done a competition like this before,” said SSG Charles Baird, currently assigned to A Company, Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit. “This is a new experience, and it will be a great honor to take part in something like this which not everyone is able to do.”

Although Baird is competing for a position on the Army’s archery team, he decided to look into the other Warrior Games sports for a chance to secure a spot on the team.

“Participating in these clinics is very therapeutic and helps take my mind off of other things.” Baird said. “I’ve played wheelchair basketball before, but I will have to learn how to swim because if I don’t make the team this year I’ll have an extra advantage for next year’s team.”

Last year the Army dominated in several events, winning more than sixty medals, and 2013 Warrior Games looks to be no different.

“After watching the competitors during the clinic and the feedback I’m getting from the field, I have no doubt the Army’s team will be a reckoning force during the 2013 Warrior Games,” Williams said.

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