The Importance of “Being” vs. “Doing”

By Chaplain (Capt.) Dave Christensen, Battalion Chaplain, 3/85 Mountain Infantry Warrior Transitions Battalion, Ft. Drum, NY, Guest Blogger*

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, speaks during a prayer breakfast. (photo courtesy of Capt. Christensen)

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, speaks during a prayer breakfast. (photo courtesy of Capt. Christensen)

It’s all about “being”…not about “doing.”  While I believe that statement is true for the pastoral care ministry of every Army Chaplain, I believe it be most true for a Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) Chaplain.

There’s nothing wrong with “doing” ministry.  During my two years as a WTB Chaplain, I’ve run my share of programs, taught classes, administered spiritual assessments and even helped develop processes and procedures.  All of this “doing” has been good and helpful for the recovery, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconditioning of our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. However, I believe its importance pales in comparison to “being.”

“Being” is, in many ways, much more difficult than “doing” ministry.  There is no method or procedure to “being.” It’s all about your presence, and not just your physical presence.  It’s easy to just show up where Soldiers and Families are.  Anyone can show up at a remote care muster, an adaptive reconditioning event, a Family Readiness Group meeting or even the hospital room.  “Being” is that ability to be emotionally present.  It’s having the courage to grieve when there is grief and to celebrate when there is joy.

“Being” is the  aptitude to be spiritually present.  Spiritual presence is the capacity to discern where a Soldier or Family is in their spiritual walk and appropriately come alongside them in that journey. As you can probably tell, “being” doesn’t brief well.  It’s hard to quantify and report.  For the most part no one will ever observe it and commend you for it either.  So, how do I even know that “being” has any effect? While I can’t objectively quantify its effect, I know it’s there because of the things Soldiers and Families tell me.

There are two stories about the effect of “being” that stick in my mind.  One day, I got a phone call from the wife of Soldier I had visited in the hospital while he was struggling with the effects of PTSD.  Since he slept the majority of the time, I spoke mostly with her.  She was calling to tell me how much it meant to her that I was there and how much my visit had helped her put things in perspective both spiritually and emotionally.

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, (front row, second from right) regularly gets together with WTB Soldiers outside of normal chaplain activities in order to "be.” (photo courtesy Capt. Christensen)

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, (front row, second from right) regularly gets together with WTB Soldiers outside of normal chaplain activities in order to “be.” (photo courtesy Capt. Christensen)

Another day, I got a call from an NCO who was a part of our remote care program and receiving care in her local community.  She was struggling with a relationship issue. She told me that when I spent a day with her unit at a quarterly muster, she knew I was someone she could trust to help her when she needed it the most.  In both these cases, I don’t remember giving insight, offering prayer, or even counseling these people.  I only remember doing my best to remain emotionally and spiritually present. These are just two of many stories I could share about the effects of “being” on these Soldiers and Families.

“Doing” WTB ministry is often physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting.  However, a ministry of “being” in the WTB is often physically, emotionally and spiritually refreshing. I encourage you to have the courage to “be”.

 

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

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.

 

Project Odyssey: Making a Difference in the Lives of Wounded, Ill, and Injured Soldiers

SGT Victor Mendez, of Warrior Transition Battalion-Europe’s Alpha Company, climbs the rock wall at the St. Wendel Rock Climbing Park while participating in Project Odyssey on January 24, in St. Wendel Germany. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Mattice)

By WTC STRATCOM
Last week, wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers from Warrior Transition Battalion – Europe’s Alpha Company had the opportunity to experience Project Odyssey at the Hambachtal Activity Center and Resort in Oberhambach, Germany.

Project Odyssey, conceptually founded on the Homeric epic of a war weary Greek general and the obstacles he faced returning from the Trojan wars, is an outdoor, rehabilitative retreat organized and charitably funded by Veterans and other members of the American public actively advocating for and supporting our men and women in uniform.

The power of this type of outdoor experience is best seen through the eyes of participants.  Speaking as a member of this particular retreat, one Alpha Company Soldier describes how these activities can influence the healing process at a deeper level.

“Injuries are not just ‘I have lost an arm or a leg.’ It’s more than that. There are injuries you can’t see that we deal with on a daily basis,” said Sgt. Ruben Bustos of A. Co. WTB-E. “This project takes you away from the stressors and puts you in the position of a caregiver through the team building exercises.”

The ability for such a retreat to take place and impact recovering Soldiers so far from home speaks to the deep need of grateful, caring Americans to reach out and do something positive for our country’s wounded, ill, and injured service members.

The Warrior Transition Command shares responsibility with Warrior Transition Unit leadership and others for ensuring wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and Families are aware of the resources and programs available to provide assistance.  Many of these organizations have committed to joining the Army Wounded Warrior Community Support Network (CSN).  We encourage all Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) and others that support wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and Families to join the CSN.

For more information on how you or your organization can become part of the Community Support Network, go to http://www.wtc.army.mil/aw2/community_support/index.html 

 

Army Warrior Games Training Comes to Fort Bliss

January 13, 2012 MSG Fernando Verones, Army Shooting Team Assistant Coach, demonstrates how to shoot the air rifle during the WTC shooting clinic held at the University of Texas, El Paso. Clinic participants are vying for a spot on the Army's Warrior Games 2012 shooting team. Photo Credit: SGT Valerie Lopez

By SGT Valerie Lopez, Headquarters 1st Armored Division
Inhale… exhale, the sound of breathing in a small quiet room, inhale…exhale, then a sudden pop as the pellet is shot from an air rifle into the target. The room is filled with Soldiers taking their shots at the tryouts for the 2012 Warrior Games Army shooting team.

25 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers gathered from different installations at Fort Bliss and El Paso to participate in the Warrior Transition Command (WTC) shooting training clinic from January 11-14.

“This is our very first of three shooting clinics for selecting the 2012 Warrior Games Army shooting team,” said MSG Howard Day, Army shooting coach and student at United States Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA). “We partnered with University of Texas El Paso and Fort Bliss Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB, and representatives from Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in order to make this clinic happen.”

The first Warrior Games was held in 2010, as an introduction to Paralympic sports for wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers and Veterans of all services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Special Operations. During this year’s games, servicemembers and Veterans will compete in seven sports: archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.

This year the Army’s shooting training camp was held at the University of Texas, El Paso’s (UTEP) ROTC building. The participating Soldiers and Veterans lodged in the Fort Bliss WTB Barracks.

“This year’s mission is to bring home the gold from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado”, said Day.

During the clinic, the organizers setup three stations:-mental, physical, and range practice.

In the mental station, Lindsay Holtz, Performance Enhancement Specialist assisted shooters to create imagery scripts to do mental practice when they don’t have a weapon.

“It’s like a movie script that you play in your head to  help you keep your patterns, muscles, and mind prepared for when you go back out there,” said Holtz.

UTEP women’s shooting coach George Brenzovich and student athlete Andrea Vautrin, exchanging ideas with the shooters on different ways to deal with anxieties and the pressures of competing. They also demonstrated alternate positions for shooting pertaining to each person’s disabilities or weaknesses.

The third station was an indoor air shooting range at the ROTC building where the participants practiced shooting and received instructions from coach Day, assistant coaches, and USASMA students MSG Fernando Verones, MSG Roger Lewis, and SGM Martin Barreras with the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU).

“Despite their circumstances, these participants all come together to compete,” said Day.

One Soldier, SPC James Darlington, from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center WTB, at the young age of 19 was deployed with the 82nd Airborne when his group was hit with two rocket propelled grenades in July 2010, and his arm was struck. With nerve damage and muscle loss in his right arm, Darlington, now 21 years old, has his mom with him as his non-medical attendant.

“He did his job well,” said Gery Darlington, “because everyone came home from that deployment. He’s here alive, and we can deal with whatever happens with his arm.”

“The WTB has great programs to help Soldiers transition back to their units, and other activities to keep us from getting down,” said Darlington. “The shooting clinic helped us get better at shooting. I’m looking forward to getting on the team.”

The Soldiers’ injuries here run the full scope,” said Day, “from traumatic brain injury (TBI), to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to amputations. Many have multiple injuries and other medical conditions that challenge them.

SSG Tracy J. Smith, Alpha Company, CBWTU Georgia, Army National Guard with 48th Brigade, was deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan, survived mortar rounds, explosions, and firefights. Now battling TBI and PTSD, three pins in her knee and 50% hearing loss, Smith continues to stay active in everyday life.

“I was initially introduced to adaptive sports, and wanted to stay active and physically fit, so I did archery, seated shot put, track and field events, power lifting, and now marksmanship,” said Smith.

Smith said because of the TBI and the PTSD, she was at first nervous to handle a weapon, but after watching someone use the air rifle, it was not as “off-putting”. It was almost therapeutic.

“It’s almost a very easy reintroduction into the basics of Soldiering, but also very different from what we are taught in marksmanship,” said Smith. “I am doing this for those that can’t, for my battle buddy who is partly paralyzed and unable, because he would have if our situations were reversed.”

“Eighty-three Soldiers applied, and 75 were notified that they were eligible for these clinics,” said Day. “From these clinics, the best [shooters] will be put together to form our Army team.”

As a wounded Soldier himself, Day said it is vital for Soldiers to recognize that the injuries are not the end of their career and definitely not the end of possibilities in life.

“This is nothing but a speed bump, a simple turn in the road,” said Day. “There is a big bright future and lots of opportunities.”

For more information on the Warrior Games, visit http://usparalympics.org/military-and-veteran-programs/warrior-games-presented-by-deloitte

Warrior Transition Battalion Tips Off Warrior Care Month at Olympic Training Center

By:  Stacy Neumann, Fort Carson Medical Department Activity Public Affairs

The WTB Ft. Carson’s Bravo Company battles it out with Alpha Company in sitting volleyball at the Olympic Training Center. Alpha Company went on to win the sitting volleyball competition.

While strapping into a wheelchair for a game on the United States Olympic Training Center (OTC) courts, SSG Krisell Creager-Lumpkins shook her head and smiled, “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Headquarters & Headquarters Company’s SFC William Ingram from the Ft. Carson WTB attempts to block the ball as Bravo Company tries to make it down the court during a wheelchair basketball game at the Olympic Training Center.

The Soldiers of Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) proved that phrase true over and over on November 3rd and 4th as companies battled head-to-head in the Commander’s Stakes and Mini-Warrior Games. About 100 troops competed in shooting, wheelchair basketball, cycling, sitting volleyball, track and field, archery, and swimming.

Many times, the winner was decided by a single point in the last few seconds.

LTC Mechelle Tuttle, WTB commander, said, “I think it’s inspirational. When you look at someone who has overcome what they’ve had to overcome and see their success, it makes you rethink your outlook on things.”

SGT Chris Champion, who lost a leg in Afghanistan’s Arghandab Valley and is preparing to return to duty with the 4th Infantry Division, added, “It shows that amputees are just as able as everyone else.”

The games kicked off with the WTB’s observance of the Army-wide recognition of Warrior Care Month in November.

BG Darryl Williams, Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Commander, Warrior Transition Command (WTC), said, “Most people think of the combat injured when they hear the term warrior care. Clearly, there is no greater or higher calling than helping these men and women heal.”

Williams noted, “Warrior care is also the prevention of illnesses and accidents, having the best protective gear, maintaining a strong medical readiness posture, investing in research, and knowing the best trained medics in the world are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Soldiers on the battlefield.”

Soldiers cheer on Ft. Carson WTB’s SGT Gerardo Madrano as he cycled around the track at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. The Charlie Company Soldier posted the second best time in the cycling competition.

Across the Army, Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) are holding events to highlight what they and the nation do in the spirit of warrior care.

In addition to the games, Fort Carson WTB Soldiers built and rode on a float in the Colorado Springs Veterans parade.  The battalion is hosting the Department of Defense’s Recovering Warrior Task Force and getting together for a Fall Festival.

“Sports have proven to be therapeutic in the healing process,” she said. “Our goal is to prepare 30 people for the upcoming Warrior Games in April. The only thing limiting yourself–is yourself.”

SSG Creager-Lumpkins is coping with a brain injury she sustained after a fall in Afghanistan and she agreed, “I think it’s liberating.  This puts everybody on the same playing field.  I never thought with my ailment I could do something like this.  There’s tenacity and resilience out here.”

That tenacity paid off for one WTB company. When it was finally over, Creager-Lumpkins and the rest of the WTB’s Alpha Company pulled off the overall Commander’s Stakes win.

 

Commander’s Drumbeat: Fort Hood’s “Leadership Engagement”

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

BG Darryl A. Williams

It’s always good to return to Fort Hood and check in. My visit to the Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) was fantastic. I saw a strong demonstration of extraordinary senior mission leader involvement. They were plugged in, turned on, and genuinely interested in their wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, or Warriors in Transition! They were connected with the Triad of Care leadership, committed to resources the cadre, and displayed a lot of energy when they talked about our warriors.

After visiting with leadership, I met with several Warriors in Transition to see how things were going for them. For the first time in my visits to Warrior Transition Units, I heard something new—that their squad leaders were not tired. If the positive comments I heard from Fort Hood’s Warriors in Transition were any indication, the leader’s energy and focus on our wounded warriors is making a huge and positive difference.

Before I sign off I absolutely have to offer a shout-out to some of the folks there to recognize the hard work and great results.

  • SFC Sonja Talley-Jones is a Platoon Sergeant with the Remote Care Company. She is responsible for the care 12 Soldiers in an area of operations spanning over 900 square miles in Northwest Texas.
  • Sandra Townson is the ombudsman for Carl R. Darnall Medical Center. She and her team of professionals act as mediators for issues Soldiers may face during the healing process. She acts as ombudsman for the over 600 Warriors in Transition of the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade.
  • CPT Levita Springer is the Brigade Medical Officer and a Nurse Case Manager. She oversees patient intake to include all medevacs from theater and has implemented a Comprehensive Treatment Plan that was adopted as a model across WTC.
  • Carol Livingood AW2 advocate for B Co 1st Bn WTB supported the goal of former WTB Soldier, Clayton Carver, to transition to a professional fisherman. In fact, he will be hosting ‘Purple Heart Fishing’ on local PBS affiliate KLRU starting in August this year.
  • Joy Pasco is an AW2 Advocate for D Co 1st Bn WTB and the Remote Care Company. Mrs. Pasco provides assistance for 50 Soldiers and is focused on helping Soldiers through the MEB process who want to stay in the Army. She is responsible for assisting an AW2 Soldier who went through the MEB process, received COAD status, and now is back in the fight in Iraq.
  • I’ll end with MAJ David Shoupe, the battalion’s public affairs officer. He is busy getting the word out on all things WTB at Fort Hood and a huge asset to the organization. Supporting the leadership and WTB Soldiers by communicating the challenges and successes of the organization is one of our most important missions—MAJ Shoupe is clearly on top of this.

Things at Fort Hood looked great. Thank you all for your support and commitment to our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. Your enthusiasm for your work is obvious. Continue engaging with your leaders at all levels—your successes are directly tied to your skills and the strong relationships you’ve built internally and externally.

Case Management—Where it All Comes Together

By COL Suzanne Scott, WTC Clinical Support Division

COL Suzanne Scott explains the importance of Case Managers and how they improve their skills to better serve Warriors in Transition and their Families.

Although our Warrior Transition Command Annual Training Conference was canceled, education and training of our case management team continued this week in order to better deliver services to our Warriors.

Case management is a specialty area of practice that requires additional training and ongoing education. To help our Army military and civilian case managers better support Warriors in Transition, the Army Medical Command Medical Management Department hosts a monthly training seminar for case managers and other members of the medical management team.

Our speaker was Navy CPT Andy Spencer, the Chief of Medical Management, TRICARE Region Office North. His seminar focused on defining the role of the nurse case manager and exploring how this role is integrated in the overall model for medical management.

How does this apply to the wounded warrior community? Our Warriors in Transition and their Families are at the center of everything we do. One of the case manager’s roles, and certainly a key focus area, is the integration of healthcare services. CPT Spencer noted that case management is a collaborative process. Case managers use their talents to collaborate and help integrate services between our Military Health System facilities, with our civilian network partners, and with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Case managers are instrumental in communicating between locations, between disciplines, within the unit, and most importantly with our patients and their Families. Case managers must look at key standards and benchmarks to ensure that our Warriors in Transition and their Families have appropriate access to care. Case managers ensure that the healthcare team and our Warrior Transition Unit team are achieving the outcomes expected to better support Warriors in Transition.

The “so what” of what CPT Spencer addressed is that case managers all entered the profession and became nursing case managers because of their sincere passion for delivering care to Warriors in Transition. In order to effectively assist our Warriors in Transition, we as case managers have a responsibility to determine what is safe and effective. To do this, case managers must turn to evidence based practice guidelines to help guide the delivery of care. The goal is to deliver efficient, proven, and effective care that is consistently medically necessary and safe for Warriors in Transition.

Case managers have lots of new and emerging tools to help with the communication and collaboration process. We use secure e-mail capabilities and Web enabled data transfer tools to exchange information with our healthcare partners at other military medical treatment facilities and with the VA. We use social media to help affect communication and collaboration between patients and providers, and between members of the healthcare team. In addition to the Twitter and Facebook pages used by the Warrior Transition Command, case managers have access to professional forums to exchange best practices and develop better clinical and business processes. To help disseminate data such as patient and staff education seminars, nurse case managers turn to video and audio conferencing through Defense Connect on Line.

So, faithful blog readers, what does this mean for you? If you’re a Warrior in Transition or Family member or a member of the healthcare team, you can feel confident that you have a dedicated member of your team who is focused on bringing all the other members of the team together to help you achieve you or your Warrior’s goals. If you’re a nurse case manager, and had an opportunity to attend this month’s seminar, you have a better sense of how what you do fits in to the larger model. If you did not have a chance to attend, we’re going to repeat this seminar on Thursday, 21 April at 0900. Talk to your Regional Senior Nurse case manager for the Defense Connect Online portal connection information and dial in number.

KISS Star Gene Simmons and his “Family Jewels” Cast Rock Fort Hood with a Little Help from WTB Soldiers

By Erich Langer, WTC Stratcom

Gene Simmons (left) interviews CPT Jose Da Cuna (right), Commander A Company, 1st

Now with nearly 1,000 cable television stations only a click or two away on your TV remote, you probably can catch a bit of the magic that KISS and star performer Gene Simmons created for hordes of Americans 35-years ago. Of course, you can rediscover the music that made stars out of the demon painted face of Simmons and his fellow KISS musicians on your local classic rock radio station. Fortunately for today’s generation—and the last generation—YouTube and other social and traditional media won’t let you down as you cobble together what you missed before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye.

For the over 40 somethings who know the songs, the band, and the persona, last week’s Fort Hood visit by Simmons was special. For the younger Soldiers at Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB), they too got to see an unmasked Simmons as he and his long-time partner and actress Shannon Tweed, brought another act to the Texas Hill Country.

 It wasn’t the face painted persona and exploding stage show or the songs of yesterday that garnered all the excitement, but it was Simmons’s cable television show, “Family Jewels.” Simmons and KISS still tour around the country, but his Fort Hood trip wasn’t about the music, it was about the troops.

Now a cable icon, Simmons’ and his Family Jewels” reality TV production team spent four days at Fort Hood with deploying Soldiers/Families and Warriors in Transition (WTs) from the WTB.

For an old rocker rising at zero dark thirty for Physical Training (PT) with a bunch of young troops from the WTB’s A Company, 1st Battalion, a two hour workout might not seem to be a priority. However, PT with WTs was high on Simmons to-do list while at Fort Hood. He and Tweed also sat down with three WTs for interviews that likely will become part of a future show. The heartfelt conversations focused on why they serve, their injuries, and of course their Families.

A second segment was shot during an “Aces and Angels” event hosted by Simmons.  Several WTB Soldiers participated after Simmons extended them invitations to the Dallas event.

Simons and Tweed stayed busy throughout their visit. They met troops, attended deployment ceremonies, ate Army chow and visited the volunteers at the United Services Organization. They even made time to put lead on target at the firing range. Simmons wanted to see up close and personal how Soldiers train and what their days are like.

Program producers explained that that the Fort Hood episode will likely air in late June or early July. 

Soldiers quickly learned that underneath the mask is a man eternally grateful for America’s sons and daughters who put on the uniform and volunteer to fight and sometimes offer up the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms.

Long a friend of the American Soldier, Simmons is the son of a Jewish concentration camp survivor and immigrant. He came to the United States as a young boy and recently explained to the Fort Hood Sentinel, “If it weren’t for the American military I would not be here today. The American military has always meant the world to me. You can love the military as an ideal, but for me it was survival,” he said.

For nearly a decade, Simmons has been an ardent advocate of troops fighting the war on terrorism. He also puts his money where his mouth is by supporting the Fisher House Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. Simmons continues to personally raise money for wounded warriors.

He’s even brought his KISS buddies along in his fundraising endeavors. During the band’s last tour, a dollar from each ticket sold was donated to wounded warrior causes.

“Every one of our concerts is dedicated to our heroes,” he said. “The most impressive thing is looking into the eyes of young people who believe in an ideal and an idea. It’s called America.”

Next time you hear a KISS tune on the radio or see a vintage MTV video featuring the band, think a minute about the man behind the music, behind the mask who supports wounded warriors, Soldiers, and Families.

Write a blog for WTC

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