AW2 Soldiers Receive Scholarships from CTU

AW2 Soldiers and Family members receive scholarships from Colorado Technical University

AW2 Soldiers and Family members receive scholarships from Colorado Technical University

By Eric Mitchell, AW2 Advocate in Colorado

The snow and freezing weather conditions could not stop five Fort Carson wounded warriors and seven spouses of wounded warriors from attending the Colorado Technical University Wounded Warrior and Spouse Scholarship Awards Reception and Dinner held at The Briarhurst Manor Estate in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Each of the wounded warrior and spouse recipients are members of the Fort Carson Warrior Transition Unit (WTU).

During the reception, recipients and their guests had the opportunity to meet and speak with CTU leadership as well as their individual CTU Mentor/Student Advisors. Fort Carson AW2 Advocates Susan Holmes and Marlo Walker were invited to attend the event as a result of their dedicated work in assisting these wounded warriors and spouses apply for, and receive scholarships. Also in attendance was Ms. Annie Oatman-Gardner from U.S. Senator Bennett’s office, Mr. Casey Howard from Senator Udall’s office, and Mr. John Herd from U.S. Congressman Lamborn’s office.

After feasting on a dinner of various salads, London broil, turkey and dressing, ham, pasta, shrimp, and oysters, CTU President and CEO, Dr. Wallace Pond, welcomed the recipients into the CTU family. He also noted that AW2 Soldier SPC Andrew Trotto and his wife Danielle were the first couple to both receive scholarships. They were officially christened CTU’s “First Couple.” Each of the recipients was presented a certificate of scholarship, a fully loaded laptop computer, and a CTU backpack. As part of their scholarships, the awardees will also receive personalized student advisor mentor support, books, materials and lifetime technical support and job placement.

To be eligible to compete for award of these scholarships, the Soldier had to be “a member of a selected Warrior Transition Unit receiving treatment for injuries as a result of combat operations or as a result of training preparing to deploy to combat.” The wounded warriors/spouses were required to complete an application, receive a Commander’s certification, and write an essay explaining how they will use the scholarship. AW2 Soldier and Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Tammy Duckworth convened the CTU selection board and I was honored to serve on the board with her.

This is the third year CTU has provided this yearly scholarship opportunity to wounded warriors, and this is the first year that CTU has awarded scholarships to spouses of wounded warriors. CTU has awarded 100 scholarships to date. Similar events were held in Washington, DC and Fort Bragg, NC.

CTU awarded scholarships to the following AW2 Soldiers and Spouses: SSG Michael Francisco, SGT Cynthia Galvin, SGT Jason Nash, SGT Eric Sassenfeld, SPC Andrew Trotto, Martha Ann Claiborne, Samantha Friese, Barbara Huntington, Jillian Rickman, Nicole Smith, Danielle Trotto, and Katelyn Jordan.

Congratulations to all of you on your scholarships and may your studies be successful!

AW2 Community Support Network Update

By Sarah Greer, AW2 Community Support Network Coordinator

AW2 is proud to announce the 21 organizations that joined the AW2 Community Support Network between November 1 and December 15, to demonstrate their support for severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.  Local community support is at the heart of the AW2 program, and the AW2 Community Support Network connects local organizations with wounded warriors and Families living in their hometowns.

Most of these organizations are already posted on the AW2 Web site, and we at AW2 are working to post the rest as quickly as possible.

Federal Programs:

Operation Warfighter

Additional Programs:

Dale Carnegie Training Psychiatric Service Dog Society
Family Services of Greater Houston Raytheon
Fisher House Foundation Segs4Vets
FLAGS Across the Nation Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Show of Support Military Hunt
Heroes on the Water Ski Apache Disabled Skier’s Program
HOPE for Heroes – Samaritan Counseling Center Still Serving Veterans
Lakeshore Foundation Team River Runner
New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc. The Michael J. Novosel Foundation
Operation Open Arms The Silver Star Families of America

Any organization can join the AW2 Community Support Network, and any AW2 Soldier, Veteran, or Family member can recommend an organization. For more information, including the registration form, visit the AW2 Community Support Network on the AW2 Web site.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

AW2 Community Support Network Update

By Sarah Greer, AW2 Community Support Network Coordinator

AW2 is proud to announce the 80 organizations that joined the AW2 Community Support Network as of November 1 to demonstrate their support for severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.

Most of these organizations are already posted on the AW2 Web site, and we at AW2 are working to post the rest as quickly as possible.

Federal Programs (Registered as of November 1, 2009)

Fort Bragg Soldier and Family Assistance Center VA Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
Fort Sill Soldier and Family Assistance Center VA Adaptive Vehicle Grant
U.S. Department of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury VA Disability Compensation
U.S. Department of Defense Real Warriors Campaign VA Health Care
U.S. Small Business Administration VA Home Loan Guaranty
U.S. Social Security Administration VA Readjustment Services
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VA Specially Adapted Housing Grant
VA Montgomery G.I. Bill Veterans Employment Coordination Service

Additional Organizations (Registered as of November 1, 2009)

AbilityOne Program Operation First Response
AccesSportAmerica Operation Homefront of Texas
America’s VetDogs Operation Pinecone
American Corporate Partners Operation Second Chance
American Veterans (AMVETS) Operation Stand Down Rhode Island
Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Our Military Kids
Blinded Veterans Association Patriot Paws Service Dogs
Blue Star Riders Paws4Vets
Boatsie’s Boxes Pilots for Christ International
CaringBridge Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Foundation
Colorado Technical University Puppies Behind Bars
Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services (CAUSE) R.O.C.K. Ride On Center for Kids
COMPTIA Educational Foundation RecruitMilitary, LLC
CSX Transportation Samaritan Counseling Center of West Texas, Inc.
DC Office of Veterans Affairs Sesame Workshop
Dive Pirates Foundation Sew Much Comfort
Family Service Association Shades of Green Armed Forces Recreation Center at Walt Disney World
Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Shepherd Center / SHARE Initiative
Freedom Alliance Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Freedom Is Not Free Stay Strong Nation
G.I. Go Fund Swords to Plowshares
Give an Hour Team Z
Grateful American Coin The Dallas Foundation
Heroes to Hometowns There and Back Again
Home Front Hearts United Way of San Antonio
Hope Coming Ministries Vail Veterans Program
InCharge Education Foundation Veterans Airlift Command
Military OutReach & Encouragement Veterans Families United
Military to Medicine / Operation Life Transformed Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans West Virginia Division of Veteran’s Affairs
National Amputation Foundation Worklife Institute
Northrop Grumman

Any organization can join the AW2 Community Support Network, and any AW2 Soldier, Veteran, or Family member can recommend an organization. For more information, including the registration form, visit the AW2 Community Support Network on the AW2 Web site.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

AW2 Community Support Network

By Sarah Greer, AW2 Community Support Network Coordinator

The AW2 Community Support Network has officially launched. AW2’s experience over the past five years has shown the importance of local community support in the successful transition of wounded Soldiers, Veterans and Families as they reintegrate into their communities long term.

Local community support is at the heart of the AW2 program. This is why we have Advocates located across America in our Veterans’ hometowns. The Advocates are there to help the Soldiers and Veterans navigate the government programs and benefits available to them, the benefits they’ve earned with their service to our country.

The AW2 Community Support Network connects local organizations with severely wounded, injured, and ill Soldiers and Veterans living in their hometowns. More than 70% of AW2 wounded warriors have medically retired and are reintegrating into their hometowns. As they move forward with their new goals, they need jobs, homes, and a network of support as they embrace their challenges and build a future for themselves and their Families.

AW2 recognizes that local organizations can have an incredible impact in the lives of our Soldiers, Veterans, and Families. They offer services that go above and beyond government benefits – they build and modify houses to meet physical limitations, offer recreational activities to boost morale and build self-confidence, and even adapt clothing to fit over prosthetics. These are just a few of the millions of ways local organizations offer support.

Any AW2 Soldier, Veteran, Family member, or staff member can refer a local organization to the AW2 Community Support Network. To recommend an organization that has made a difference in your life, please contact me at AW2CommunitySupportNetwork@conus.army.mil.

Read more about the AW2 Community Support Network online. As organizations register, AW2 will post their information and links on the site as well.

Is there a great organization that you have worked with? Share your experiences in the comments of this post.

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