Comprehensive Transition Plan helpful in Soldier’s recovery

To support each Warrior in Transition’s return to the force or transition to Veteran status, the Army developed a systematic framework known as the Comprehensive Transition Plan.

To support each Warrior in Transition’s return to the force or transition to Veteran status, the Army developed a systematic framework known as the Comprehensive Transition Plan.

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Stratcom
SFC Clem Cowan did not realize when he tore his Achilles during a physical fitness training session March 27, 2012 that it would lead to being diagnosed with other medical issues while assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), Fort Polk, Louisiana.

“When I went to start the retirement process, I was told that I would have to postpone because I was going to a WTU,” said Cowan. “I didn’t think I was in that bad of shape just dealing with the normal wear and tear on the body.”

I’ve been dealing with pain for the past six years, but I thought it was the normal wear and tear on the body,” he said. “Once you’ve been in the military four or five years, or especially 15 years or more after carrying ruck sacks, road marches, constant physical fitness, it takes a toll on your body.”

The idea of being in a WTU was not Cowan’s first choice because he had a few misconceptions about the WTU being only for Soldiers being injured while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. He has since changed this mindset, stating “being in a WTU has been thumbs up.”

“The WTU is for wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers,” Cowan said. “In the past that was something that I never wanted to hear, but I’ve served, gave my country 100 percent, and now I’m an injured Soldier trying to take care of my medical issues.”

“This has been an experience I wasn’t expecting,” he added. “I thought I would go in, do a little therapy and that’ll be it, but it’s so much more.”

Each Soldier in a WTU is assigned a Triad of Care comprised of a squad leader, nurse case manager (NCM), and primary care manager. These professionals work together to coordinate all aspects of the Soldier’s medical and non-medical care.

“My Triad of Care, my NCM, and my squad leader, really take care of Soldiers, they really listen and are very helpful,” Cowan said “They are definitely taking care of Soldiers.”

“I’ve been treated with respect; I wasn’t rushed; and they attended to each issue,” he said. He continues to describe his experience as being “a real blessing.”

Cowan is currently in the rehabilitation phase in his Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). The CTP is a seven-part process for every Soldier in a WTU that includes an individual plan that the Soldier creates for him or herself with support of the WTU cadre.

“My physical evaluation board (PEB) has found me physically unfit and I’m just waiting on my disability ratings from VA,” Cowan said. “I’ve been in 23 years and I’m ready to retire and spend time fishing with the grandkids.”

An Eye on the Goal: The Value of a Having a Plan

By:  LuAnn Georgia, Warrior Transition Command Stratcom Division

SPC Quinton Piccone, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, sights in the target during archery practice at the 2013 Warrior Game archery and sitting volleyball trials held on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, February 25-March 1. Piccone also hopes to represent the Army in sitting volleyball, swimming, and shot put during the 2013 Warrior Games. (U.S. Army Photo by Monica Wilson)

SPC Quinton Piccone, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, sights in the target during archery practice at the 2013 Warrior Game archery and sitting volleyball trials held on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, February 25-March 1. Piccone also hopes to represent the Army in sitting volleyball, swimming, and shot put during the 2013 Warrior Games. (U.S. Army Photo by Monica Wilson)


Goal setting is an important part of a successful transition plan for any task.  It serves as a map, with a starting point, an ending point, and check points along the way.   It is an integral part of a wounded, ill, and injured Soldier’s transition to Veteran status or back into the force and is one of seven key processes in the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).

In a recent interview with CPT Cindy Dean, Occupational/Physical Therapy Consultant, Clinical Services Division, Warrior Transition Command and Jennifer Leonard, Action Officer, Warrior Transition Command Career and Education Readiness Branch (CERB), I had the opportunity to discuss the importance of goal setting and the process that Soldiers follow in their CTP.

Why is goal setting so important?

Leonard:  These Soldiers have had their lives turned upside down in a way they didn’t expect, goal setting helps them refocus.

What does the goal setting process entail?

Dean and Leonard shared that when a Soldier enters a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), part of their assessment and transition phase includes goal setting training.  These goals must be identified within the first 21 days of entering the WTU.  To assist them in the process, a standardized workbook is included in CTP guidance.  The Occupational Therapist assigned to work with the transitioning Soldier helps ensure that there is a balanced approached to the Soldier’s goal setting by ensuring they have addressed each of the six Domains of Strength:  Career, Physical, Emotional, Social, Family, and Spiritual.  In addition, the goals must also be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART).

How are Soldiers who are not comfortable with, or experienced in goal setting, introduced to the process?

Leonard:  Soldiers set goals all the time in the Army and may not realize they are doing so. 

Dean: By identifying their long term and short term goals, Soldiers are then able to establish sub-goals.  These sub-goals are the small steps which lead them to the final goal.  This process helps them avoid being overwhelmed and gives them the ability to stay focused. An example would be the desire to achieve a 300 on their APFT test. They have to plan and train for different activities in order to be successful. 

What ensures a Soldiers success in achieving their goals?

Dean:  Soldiers do a self assessment to determine their goals in a step by step process led by their Occupational Therapist. They reflect upon their personal strengths, challenges and potential barriers to goal achievement.  They must be willing to stick with their plan and do the work. Spousal and Caregiver participation is welcomed and encouraged as they can often act as an advocate. 

Leonard:  Soldiers own their goals. They own their CTP.  Goals can change and when they do, Soldiers have to update their plan to address these changes.  Soldiers have to decide if their goals are realistic and then they must be willing to manage to their expectations. 

Throughout the process, Soldiers continue to follow up with their interdisciplinary team of care to ensure they are making progress.  With steadfast determination, the Soldier can know and understand the success of their plan.  As with anything worthwhile in life, hard work and a good attitude are a must.

Learn more about goal setting and all of the seven processes of the Comprehensive Transition Plan here: http://www.wtc.army.mil/factsheets/ctp_brochure.pdf

Army Warrior Games Athletes Compete During Sitting Volleyball and Archery Trials

By LTC Jeanette H. Griffin, WTC Stratcom

Army Veteran Kevin Stone, the Army archery Coach provides instruction to SPC Quinton Piccone, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas  during archery practice at the 2013 Warrior Games  archery and sitting volleyball trials held on Fort Belvoir, Va., Feb. 25-March 1.

Army Veteran Kevin Stone, the Army archery Coach provides instruction to SPC Quinton Piccone, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas during archery practice at the 2013 Warrior Games archery and sitting volleyball trials held on Fort Belvoir, Va., Feb. 25-March 1. Stone is a first time coach for the 2013 Warrior Games. This is Piccone’s first time competing to represent the Army during the 2013 Warrior Games. (U.S. Army Photo by Monica Wilson)

After two grueling archery and sitting volleyball assessment and selection clinics, more than 40 wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans  from across the U.S. and Europe are steps closer to reaching their goal of representing the U.S. Army during the 2013 Warrior Games.

As part of the Army’s Warrior Games selection process, the Warrior Transition Command hosted the Army’s final sitting volleyball and archery trials on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, February 25-March 1.

“Overall, we have conducted more than 15 training and accession clinics to prepare our athletes for competition during the 2013 Warrior Games.” “Army athletes have received the best training possible from some of the top subject matter experts in their sports,” said MSG Jarrett Jongema, Adaptive Sports & Reconditioning Branch Noncommissioned Officer in Charge.

During the 2013 Warrior Games, slated for May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, athletes will compete in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, track and field, archery, and competitive shooting with hopes of being awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal.

The first archery and sitting volleyball multi-sport clinic was held in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the last week of October and a second clinic took place December 2012 at Fort Carson, Colorado.

“From the start, our athlete’s focused on shooting the best shots they possibly could regardless of their skill level. Some came in with the knowledge required, while others had to be taught,” said Kevin Stone, Head Coach of the U.S. Army archery team.

Since 2005, Stone has worked with the Paralympic Military Program and used his skills and expertise to train wounded, ill and injured service members to use adaptive sports as a part of their rehabilitation.  Today, two times Paralympian and Army Veteran Kevin Stone is doing what he loves best as the Head Coach for the Army archery team.

“We ran the clinics as if they were training at an Olympic Center or before a National Championship tournament,” said Stone. We relaxed the troops with music during practice and while scoring. The experienced troops did not miss a beat and the inexperienced troops were given separate and individual instruction before re-joining the main body. This practical immersion worked and was apparent in the scores they provided.”

Similar to the athletes; Stone understands what it means to face a traumatic injury and diligently work towards recovery. As a Noncommissioned Officer and member of the U.S. Army Light Infantry, Stone sustained injuries to his neck as a result of a vehicle rollover and was pronounced as an incomplete quadriplegic.  Today, Stone uses a wheelchair and the aid of a cane to stand or walk short distances.

Stone credits therapists and doctors at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he received outpatient treatment to aid in his recovery.

“There was nothing ‘impossible’ at that hospital,” said Stone.  The only limitations you have are those you put on yourself. ”

Stone has  a record of success with focused training and competition in the sport of archery, winning his first bronze medal as part of the U.S. Paralympics’ historic team event at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens.   At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing he set two U.S. world records in the initial individual rounds using the recurve bow.

“I started my rehabilitation by using the adaptive sport of shooting and later crossed over to the sport of archery,” said Stone.

“It has been an honor to have been able to serve as an athlete, it’s even more of an honor to serve our athletes as a coach and mentor,” said Stone.

Wounded Warrior Transition Unit Cadre Competes for Warrior Games Spot

SSG Michael Lage, Cadre, Fort Sam Houston Warrior Transition Unit, focuses on his archery technique during the Warrior Transition Command Warrior Games archery and sitting volleyball trials held on Fort Belvoir, VA Feb. 25-March 1. Lage is one of more than 40 athletes competing for a spot on the Army’s Warrior Games team. (U.S. Army Photo by Monica Wilson)

SSG Michael Lage, Cadre, Fort Sam Houston Warrior Transition Unit, focuses on his archery technique during the Warrior Transition Command Warrior Games archery and sitting volleyball trials held on Fort Belvoir, VA Feb. 25-March 1. Lage is one of more than 40 athletes competing for a spot on the Army’s Warrior Games team. (U.S. Army Photo by Monica Wilson)

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
Everyone has a story and SSG Michael Lage is no different. After an improvised explosive device claimed the lives of the other members of his team, Lage sustained third degree burns over 35 percent of his body and a left hand and right thumb amputation. However, the sole survivor has a positive outlook on life and uses his experience in an important capacity as cadre at the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU,) Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

“I wanted to be a squad leader at a WTU because I know what the Soldiers are going through,” Lage said. “They want people who have experienced what they have.”

“I was hurt when I was 29, but many of these Soldiers are getting hurt at 18, 19 or in their early 20’s,” he added. “Many of them think life is over when they are injured, I’m there to show them that it’s not true and they can do whatever they want as long as they work at it.”

Lage is one of more than 40 athletes competing in the final sitting volleyball and archery trials hosted by the WTC on Fort Belvoir, VA, February 25-March 1 for a chance to represent the Army in archery, cycling, shooting and sitting volleyball during the 2013 Warrior Games.

“Warrior Games is a chance to be part of a group and be a team player,” Lage said. “It’s good to show that my door closed in one direction, but opened in another.”

During the 2011 and 2012 Paralympics Texas Regional competitions, he won first place when shooting with a mouth tab – a tab attached to the string used to assist the archer with pulling the bow. Also, in November, Lage cycled 500 miles from Wichita Falls, Kansas to Corpus Kristi, Texas.

Lage plans to use the knowledge and experiences he has gained to help the Soldiers in the Fort Sam Houston WTU.

“I’m the cadre in charge of the adaptive reconditioning at my company,” Lage said. “Regardless of the Soldiers performing adaptive sports and reconditioning activities, we are changing their lives.”

“We actually mandate five hours of physical activity per week,” he added. “I’m hoping once a Soldier is finished with the rehab portion, they’ll get into something that they are interested in and will keep them occupied.”

Regardless of how he does during the trials, Lage plans to continue his adaptive reconditioning journey by cycling 350 miles throughout France shortly after Warrior Games.

Service Dog Provides Friendship and New Opportunities for an AW2 Soldier

AW2 Soldier Justin Miller’s service dog “Dinah” gave him the companionship and encouragement he needed to move forward with his recovery and transition.

Retired Army Sergeant and AW2 Soldier Justin Miller, who was injured on multiple occasions over the course of his military career, is a huge fan of companion dogs – specifically one called Dinah.

By Jeff Johnson, AW2 Advocate

While working to take charge of his life and deal with PTSD symptoms, he came in contact with Clear Path for Veterans, an organization in Chittenango, New York.  Clear Path’s Dogs2Vet program assists Veterans by matching them with a rescue dog.  They train the Veteran with the dog, creating a supportive bond that results in outstanding support to the Veteran and enhances their quality of life in the process. Following this training the dog is a service dog and the veteran gains the ability and confidence to deal with the many issues presented to them.

In the summer of 2012, Miller was paired with Dinah, a 3-year-old, rescue black Lab, who immediately provided him an emotional boost. Together, Miller and Dinah began the 18 month training program that Miller says not only enhanced his skills in working with Dinah but also helped him face life’s challenges. Though their training is not complete, Miller and Dinah have progressed to the final stages of training and expect an early graduation. Miller plans to continue the training to earn Therapy Dog qualification so Dinah could be used to help others and demonstrate the benefits of a service dog.

Other than the obvious, Dinah is trained to alert him when his anxiety rises – before he may even notice it.  When she hears the command ‘brace’ she helps support his body weight.  Miller shared that the biggest benefits for him are companionship and increased confidence – he is more at ease now and more comfortable socially.

Dinah accompanies Miller almost everywhere and will be joining him in college next semester. He is studying to become a recreational therapist with a goal to assist Veterans and others who have disabilities with adaptive needs.

Based on my experiences with Miller, it is evident that Clear Path for Veterans Dogs2Vets program has been a positive and instrumental factor in his ability to move on in his life and to put the pain of his injuries behind him.  He sees sharing his experiences as encouragement to other AW2 Soldiers who might benefit from a service dog, and he wants them to take the steps necessary to do what he did and enhance their life in a big way.

Clear Path for Veterans is a private, non for profit organization dedicated to helping military Veterans and their Families recover and reintegrate by offering a variety of support, training, vocational, and recreational programs in a rural setting of natural beauty. The organization offers many programs including outdoor activities, camping, vocational programs, and “talking circles” where Veterans can meet with each other and share their experiences and provide mutual support.

 

Online Benefit Web Portal Becomes Easier to Navigate

eBenefits is a web portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, manage their benefits and personal information.

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
The Department of Defense (DOD) and Veteran Affairs (VA) updated the eBenefits web portal for easier access and navigation for Soldiers and Veterans to use during their search for resources and provides tools to help in their transition process.

“The improvements eliminate some or the earlier confusion as to where certain information and documents can be found,” said Dexter B. Friday, financial support specialist and retirement services officer, Strategy, Plans and Operations Branch, AW2.  “It will provide easier navigation capabilities for our Soldiers and Veterans.”

“This portal is not just for our Soldiers and Veterans, but all Soldiers and Veterans,” he added. “eBenefits provides a direct link to the VA system and with the use of this tool Soldiers can access their VA claim status, retrieve military records, review their payment history, etc. Its capabilities are endless.”

Currently, eBenefits is a joint, secure web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families to research, access and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information.

“I receive frequent requests from our Veterans concerning their benefits and most of the information can be found on the site,” he added. “I suggest that they take the time to review and get to know all that it has to offer.

The web portal currently provides features such as access to official military personal documents, the ability to view the status of a disability compensation claim, view Post-9/11 GI Bill enrollment status, apply for Veterans benefits, order medical equipment such as hearing aid batteries and prosthetic socks, and many other features are being added regularly.

“There are many state benefits available for Veterans, but these benefits required a letter from the VA along with the application.” he said. “Previously, our Veterans would have to call the VA Customer Service to request a letter be sent to them, but with eBenefits our Veterans can download the letter themselves and not have to wait the time for VA to produce, print and mail or fax the document.”

Other portal improvements include a tool to help in determining if a Veteran is eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits and a search function that identifies a claimant’s appointed veterans service representative, with links to Google Maps indicating the location of their nearest representative’s office.

Before accessing the eBenefits Web portal, Soldiers, Veterans, and Family members must be listed in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and obtain a DS Logon. They can choose from two levels of registration, DS Logon Level 1 (Basic) and DS Logon Level 2 (Premium). The service is free, and once you have a DS Logon, it’s valid for the rest of your life.

Veterans who attempt to register and are informed they have no DEERS record, will need to have VA verify their military service and add them to DEERS. This is most likely to occur in the case of Veterans who served prior to 1982. All VA Regional Offices have staff familiar with procedures for adding a Veteran to DEERS.

Local Resources for Soldiers and Veterans

By LuAnn Georgia, WTC Stratcom
We are pleased to announce six new members in the Community Support Network. These organizations offer local resources and connections to help better the lives of wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families, and Caregivers.  Click on the links below to learn more about them and the types of products and services they provide.

1.  Paws 4 Independence

Website:  www.paws4independence.com

Type of Organization:  Service Dog Organizations

Description: Paws 4 Independence is a non-profit organization that specializes in training and providing service dogs to Veterans, adults, and children with disabilities, adults and children with diabetes, psychiatric issues, and seizure disorders.

2.  Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut

Website:  www.biact.org 

Type of Organization:  Resource Databases

Description:  The Brain Injury Association of Connecticut (BIAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and information to survivors of brain injury, their Families and the community. Programs and services include a toll free helpline that directs callers to resources and providers and support groups throughout Connecticut for survivors of brain injuries and outreach and education for Families, Caregivers, and Veteran’s Families, on a variety of topics related to living with a brain injury.

3.  Rainier Therapeutic Riding

Website:  www.rtriding.org

Type of Organization:  Other:  Therapeutic Horsemanship

Description: Rainier Therapeutic Riding provides horsemanship services to wounded active-duty and Veteran servicemembers and their Families.  Rainier Therapeutic Riding helps heroes struggling to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), combat injuries, mental health challenges, and other visible and invisible wounds of war.

4.  Johnny’s New Hope, Inc.

Website:  www.johnnysnewhope.org

Type of Organization: Assistance with Federal Benefits; Care Packages, Letters and Messages, and Moral Support; Housing Assistance; Physical Rehabilitative Support; Retirement and Transition; Services for Families, Children, and Caregivers

Description: Johnny’s New Hope is a Veteran owned organization whose primary mission is to provide housing for military Veterans and their Families.  Cabins are available for emergency housing to get heroes back on their feet.  Johnny’s New Hope also provides food, clothing, and home renovations.

5.  Therapy Achievements

Website:  www.reachTA.com

Type of Organization:  Physical Rehabilitative Support

Description:  Therapy Achievements provides out-patient occupational, physical and speech therapy services for people with neurological, orthopedic, or pain conditions.  There are programs which address balance and movement, speech and swallowing, swelling from edema and lymphedema, driving rehabilitation and adaptive technology and seating. Services are provided by therapists with advanced training.  Therapy Achievements is dedicated to helping people re-gain access to their community and to maximize their independence.

6.  VetsYoga  (aka  Yatra Yoga International)

Website:  www.vetsyoga.com

Type of Organization:  Support Roster; Mental Wellness and Counseling; Physical Rehabilitative Support; Retirement and Transition; Services for Families, Children, and Caregivers

Description:   VetsYoga offers an alternative approach to coping with combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through an instructional DVD that includes easy variations which can be practiced in the privacy of home. The material and training focuses on strength, flexibility, and relaxation. The DVD is available for purchase online at a 50% discount available to Veterans with the coupon code.

To learn more about the Warrior Transition Command Community Support Network and to view a complete list of member organizations, visit http://www.wtc.army.mil/community/.

WTC and AW2 Provides Entrepreneurship Training

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
Starting a business can seem like a difficult process, but wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans can take comfort in the fact there are many resources available to help assist in the entrepreneurship process.

“There are a lot of businesses and resources out there to teach our population how to own and run a successful business,” said Vicki Mullen, AW2 Labor Liaison Specialist.

Mullen and Cory Hixson, Action Officer, the Warrior Transition Command (WTC) Commander’s Action Group, will conduct a two-hour, call-in training session on January 17, 2013 for AW2 Soldiers, Veterans, Family members, and Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Advocates.

The first class is being offered to individuals in the southern region, and additional training sessions will be offered regionally.

“We decided to provide the training by regions to ensure we are reaching as many people as possible,” Mullen said. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to listen to some of the tools available for starting their own business.”

Originally this type of training was taught to the WTU transition coordinators, but Hixson saw there was a need for this information to be provided in a larger scale directly to the WTU and AW2 populations.

“There are so many resources at their fingertips, but they are not taking advantage of them because many do not know to ask the questions,” said Hixson, who attended an entrepreneurship boot camp and completed extensive research on self employment and starting your own business.

“We know the need is out there,” Hixson said. “There is such an opportunity for our wounded, ill, and injured to not have to work a nine-to-five job, but to own a business. They can do what they like to do and not depend on sitting behind a desk.”

During the training session, Hixson will speak about the different centers and programs within the Small Business Administration, where to find information on the  National Resource Directory, explain what the  Veteran Franchise Centers is, as well as provide information about additional programs such as Operation Jump Start, Operation Boots to Business, and several other resources.

He will also give listeners a chance to ask questions about a variety of small business topics.

“I want to help by pointing out small business training and resources, but also answer any questions that have already popped up,” Hixson said.

“Many do not realize there are resources to start a business specifically for those who are female, disabled, a Guard orReserve Soldier, a Family member, a Caregiver, and so much more,” he added.

For more information, contact the WTC at (703)325-8999 or email www.usarmy.pentagon.medcom-WTC.mbx.career-education-readiness-br@mail.mil or usarmy.pentagon.medcom-WTC.mbx.AW2-career-program@mail.mil.

Road to Warrior Games Update

MSG Ron Prothero, who is stationed at Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, practices swimming laps during the 2013 Team Army Warrior Games cycling and swimming selection clinic. The selection clinic was conducted January 07-12 at Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Cubel)

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
As the Warrior Games steadily approaches, more than 180 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans from across the U.S. and Germany are training at various training and selection clinics in hopes to be selected as an athlete for the Army’s team.

“We looked good last year and had quite a few successful athletes in many of the sporting events, but how we looked last year versus how we look now is completely different,” said MSG Jarrett Jongema, Adaptive Reconditioning Branch Noncommissioned Officer in Charge. “Different in that we have tried to build a more balanced, yet competitive team across all of the sporting events.”

During the 2013 Warrior Games, slated for May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, athletes will compete in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, track and field, archery, and competitive shooting with hopes of being awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal.

“It’s great to see a Soldier or Veteran who has never tried one of these sports to come to the clinics, learn about it, go back home and practice, then come back determined to do better than their last try-out,” Jongema said. “They come back to each clinic with a higher caliber of motivation as well as improved results with their various scores, times, or distances.”

The training clinics are preparing the Soldiers and Veterans not only to compete for the Army during Warrior Games, but give them a chance to explore different reconditioning activities that they have not tried before.

“These clinics are more than just about making the team,” Jongema said. “We are trying to teach our Soldiers and Veterans about the different types of adaptive reconditioning activities because they could help in the recovery process.”

“The part that separates these clinics from other Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning events is that they are competitive in nature first, with the therapeutic and recreational aspects coming in second and third,” he added. “This changes the vibe in the air a little knowing that the people sitting in the room with you are competing for the same spot on team Army as you.”

The final round of training and selection clinics will take place the last week of February through the third week in March, and team selection announcement is tentatively planned for the first of April.

While everyone who tries for the team will not be selected – there is a 50 team member limit for each service during the Warrior Games – athletes are receiving specialized one-on-one training from experienced coaches, many who are U.S. Paralympics competitors or medal winners.

“Not only do we have top-notch competitors, but the coaches’ reputations speak for themselves,” Jongema added. “We are determined to select and compete with only those who put forth the efforts and really give it their all.”

For more information about Warrior Games visit the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command Road to Warrior Games page or the U.S. Paralympics website.

Keep checking back for more updates as the road to Warrior Games continues.

Under Construction

Soldiers from the 758th Engineer Company measure and piece together faceboards.

By Tracy Freedman, WTC Stratcom
Over the next week, the WTC blog will be undergoing some changes. We will be integrating historical posts from the AW2 blog into this blog as the official blog of the Army Warrior Transition Command. In addition to the content you are used to receiving about warrior care, Warrior Games, Warrior Transition Units and the Warrior Care and Transition Plan, AW2 specific content will also be available here. Please make a note of the change and bear with us as we consolidate these sites. Thank you for your patience.

Write a blog for WTC

Warriors in Transition can submit a blog by e-mailing WarriorCareCommunications [at] conus.army.mil.