By Donna Butler, WTC Stratcom
Taylor Njagu is an excellent example of how the AW2 program helps Wounded Warriors. During his military career, he was stationed at numerous overseas locations, such as Asia, Korea, Belgium, and the Netherlands. His last overseas assignment was in Germany, where he deployed for the first time to Iraq. He then received orders for Fort Drum in New York and while stationed there, he received orders to deploy a second time to Iraq. During his second deployment, Njagu became injured and needed to be medically air evacuated to the United States. Upon his return, the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Drum was there to greet him. After 21 ½ years of service and after his one year of medical treatment at the Fort Drum WTU, Njagu was medically retired from the Army due to his injuries sustained while serving in Iraq.
For Njagu, his military career was over and he found himself trying to cope with his medical retirement and his need to find a new job in the civilian work force. Njagu found this transition challenging and overwhelming, where he needed some assistance.
Despite his challenges, Njagu’s AW2 Advocate was able to help him with the transition process, by working with him to better manage his medical problems. Njagu’s Advocate helped him through some psychological challenges and was very proactive. During this process, his AW2 Advocate suggested to Njagu to keep a journal where he could write about his future plans. This journal enabled Njagu to look forward to a future while keeping his spirits up.
But, Njagu still looked for a civilian job and new location to settle down. Njagu’s Advocate connected Njagu with Scott Cox, a AW2 career coordinator, who became instrumental in helping Njagu organize and tailor his resume appropriately for civilian employers. With the proactive support from numerous individuals at AW2 and WTC, Njagu was able to connect with Navy Safe Harbor. Through this program, he had the opportunity to interview with the Navy Yard Equal Opportunity Office (EEO). He was then hired to work as an EEO specialist with the Navy Yard Director of the EEO Command.
Njagu shared with me that if it weren’t for AW2, his transition would have been very challenging. He was honored to have the opportunity to benefit from AW2 and from all those individuals who continue to develop the program. He feels as though he is “a product of the process” and wants to continue to share his story to help others who will follow him.