Did You Know? What is an AW2 Advocate?

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Retired Spc. Ira Brownridge Jr. with his Advocate, Melvin Kearney

Retired Spc. Ira Brownridge Jr. with his Advocate, Melvin Kearney

The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) has more than 200 AW2 Advocates, located at most Army installations and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. AW2 Advocates are dedicated to guiding eligible AW2 Soldiers and Veterans and their Families and Caregivers through recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration to achieve their personal goals, navigate government agencies and local resources, create financial plans, support education and career goals and anticipate challenges ahead. AW2 Advocates are often retired/former Soldiers, AW2 wounded warriors themselves, spouses of AW2 Soldiers and Veterans or individuals with professional backgrounds in the behavioral health and social work fields.

Each Soldier or Veteran entering the AW2 Program is paired with an AW2 Advocate to guide the Soldier throughout the recovery and transition process and toward achieving independence. AW2 Advocates counsel eligible AW2 Soldiers and Veterans and their Families/Caregivers regarding benefits information, career guidance, Continuation on Active Duty/Continuation on Reserve Duty (COAD/COAR), educational opportunities, financial audits, government agency coordination, local resources and tracking their Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) onto the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

AW2 Advocates are onsite at more than 60 VA locations, where they educate AW2 Soldiers and Veterans on how to navigate the VA system and ensure continuity of care as AW2 Soldiers transition out of the Army. AW2 Advocates collaborate with VA Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) coordinators, help resolve appointment issues, VA benefits issues and facilitate applications for services such as the VA Adaptive Housing and Adaptive Vehicle grants and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. AW2 Advocates help transitioning Soldiers plan for a potential gap in between their Army pay and beginning their VA benefits and work with the VA to ensure they get their pay as quickly as possible.

AW2 Advocates assigned to Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) are engaged in the WTU Soldier’s mandated Comprehensive Treatment Plan (CTP) process. AW2 Families are an integral part of the CTP process, and AW2 Advocates facilitate conversations surrounding this process and the Family’s goals. They can help Families who are moving or traveling to the WTU with arranging housing, schooling and childcare. AW2 Advocates assist with applications for Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) and Non-Medical Attendant (NMA).

AW2 Advocates are plugged in to the local communities and know all the different organizations that are available to support Soldiers, from locating job opportunities and scholarships to obtaining service dogs and adaptive transportation.

“Did You Know?” Series

We will post a blog every other week on the following five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during the AW2 10th Anniversary commemoration:
1) What is AW2?
2) AW2 Advocates
3) AW2 Career and Education
4) AW2 Pay and Benefits
5) VA Resources

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your story? Post a comment here or email us at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil.

Did You Know? Meet the WTU Career and Education Readiness Team

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Do you know how many Cadre are involved in WTU Soldiers’ Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities?  Career and Education Readiness activities support wounded, ill and injured Soldiers as they transition, whether they remain in the Army or transition to Veteran status.  All Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers set career goals as part of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).  Career and Education Readiness activities provide eligible Soldiers with the skills and knowledge they need to advance toward their career goals. Achieving career goals contributes positively to the rehabilitation and reintegration process, which is why there are so many Interdisciplinary Team members along with the Triad of Care available to support every Soldier.

You may already know that the Triad of Care – Primary Care Manager (PCM), Nurse Case Manager (NCM) and Squad Leader (SL) – coordinates to ensure all members of the WTU team operate synergistically to benefit the Soldier.   Nurse Case Managers keep team members up to date on the Soldier’s medical status and physical profile.  Squad Leaders coach, teach, mentor and counsel Soldiers on their responsibilities while participating in a CER activity.  They also ensure Soldiers are at their places of duty and coordinate with their work site supervisor for assessments.

What you may not know is that in addition to the Triad of Care, each CER-eligible Soldier also works with an interdisciplinary team that includes a Transition Coordinator (TC), Occupational Therapist (OT), Medical Management (M2) and Career Counselor (CC).   They may also participate in as external support programs such as the Army Continuing Education System (ACES) and Operation Warfighter (OWF).  Interdisciplinary Team members work together and inform one another of important updates and changes to ensure Soldiers have the most productive and successful CER experiences possible:

–       Transition Coordinator (TC): ensures the Soldier’s career goals line up with the CTP and helps coordinate CER activities.

–       Occupational Therapist – Registered (OTR):  completes Phase I goal setting with the Soldier and provides life skills training and goal reassessment throughout the Soldiers’ stay at the WTU.

–       Medical Management (M2):  works to determine eligibility for CER activities along with the WTU Commander.

–       Career Counselor (CC): counsels Soldiers on the logistics of career changes.

Transition professionals at Warrior Transition Command talk about Soldiers experiencing the “fog of recovery”, or the emotional and psychological difficulties that may accompany physical injuries.  Soldiers assigned to WTUs are encouraged to develop and strive to meet career goals to ease the fog. This often includes returning to the work force either in a familiar or new work environment.  The CER program, with the support of the Interdisciplinary Team, helps Soldiers prepare and plan a career path that will put them on the right track for returning to, or creating, a new normal.

For more information on Career and Education Readiness, visit the Career Planning webpage and the “Meet the WTU Career and Education Readiness Team” fact sheet.

Did You Know? Career and Education Readiness (CER)

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities support wounded, ill and injured Soldiers’ transition processes, whether they remain in the Army or transition to Veteran status?  All Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers set career goals as part of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).  Career and Education Readiness activities are designed to provide eligible Soldiers with the skills and knowledge they need to advance towards these career goals.

You may already know that Soldiers receive a Transition Coordinator (TC) during the in-processing stage.  You may also know that the TC is a key resource for Soldiers eligible to participate in CER activities. Transition Coordinators specialize in navigating career and education options based on the Soldier’s individual circumstances.

What you may not know is how many CER options are available to Soldiers. Career and Education Readiness activities may include internships, work site placements, training, professional certificates and education programs (including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs).  Soldiers who remain in the Army and choose to pursue a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) are directed towards specific internships and training courses that will best provide them the required skills and knowledge for their new MOS.  For those who expect to transition out of the Army, there are valuable work experiences and university courses that can set those Soldiers on the right path to achieve their post-transition career goals. The number of programs that the WTUs work with ensures that every Soldier finds a meaningful CER activity.

For more information on Career and Education Readiness, visit the Career Planning webpage and take a look at the Career and Education Readiness fact sheet.

Stay tuned for the next blog post on the Career and Education Readiness team members.


Launch of the New WTC Website

By Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop

The Warrior Transition Command (WTC) is excited to launch the new WTC website which will provide wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families, Caregivers and Cadre with increased access to information. Based on feedback directly from you, we launched a more user-friendly website with in-depth information on all aspects of the recovery and transition process. Being the proponent for wounded, ill and injured Soldiers means ensuring you can find accurate information easily, using today’s technology.

Visit the new, user-friendly website at www.WTC.army.mil. To learn more, check out the public website redesign factsheet at this link. The new site provides in-depth information on many topics, including but not limited to:

You and your Family can access the website on any device, including smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. This way information is available to you whether you are healing at a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) or at home. We relied on recovery and transition experts from WTC, WTUs and other elements of the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) and the site will continue to grow to keep up to speed with the information you need.

I urge you to explore the new site and learn more. Your feedback is important in shaping how the website will grow and evolve to meet your needs. Send us an email at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter page for more updates.

 

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.

 

Fort Hood WTB Soldier ‘knighted’ by armor community

by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Arthur Sellers congratulates former armored cavalry Solider Staff Sgt. Roger Pates on his induction into the Order of St. George. (Photo by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood WTB PAO)

Lt. Col. Arthur Sellers congratulates former armored cavalry Solider Staff Sgt. Roger Pates on his induction into the Order of St. George. (Photo by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood WTB PAO)

Life in the Army for Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) cadre member, Staff Sgt. Roger Pates has always been about the Abrams. It didn’t matter if it was a 60-ton or a 70-ton tank, he just wanted to be its master.

On August 1, surrounded by more than 400 warriors from his former unit –the 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division– the master gunner achieved the pinnacle of his Army career: knighthood and membership into the prestigious Order of St. George.

Lt. Col. Arthur Sellers, commander, “knighted” the kneeling Pates with two saber taps on the shoulders and the presentation of the order’s black medallion that is given to deserving junior officers and enlisted tankers and cavalrymen who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and technical competence.

The order, established by the United States Armor Association in 1986, recognizes the very best tankers and cavalrymen among its members. Its origins date back to a twelfth century Italian legend that depicts St. George slaying a dragon in exchange for the community embracing Christianity.

For Pates, who now works with brigade operations, the opportunity to get knighted was the driving force behind his decision to enlist and go “armor” three months after his 1993 high school graduation.

“I just thought that being knighted was the coolest thing I had ever heard about,” said the Kansas native, who first learned about the order from an Army friend. “Ever since I was a kid, too, I wanted to drive tanks, so this just made sense to me.”

Being knighted also was the fifth and final career goal Pates had set for himself when he enlisted.

“I wanted to make rank, be a tank commander, make master gunner, become a knight, and..,” said Pates, hesitating a bit, “Go to war.”

In 2003 Pates got his wish for war when his unit was one of the first to invade Iraq.

“I was a little nervous at first because I’m in a bomb on wheels,” the 37-year-old Pates said, “but it was also pretty awesome because I’m in a practically indestructible war machine.”

Pates credits Army training with preparing him for the fight.

Lt. Col. Arthur Sellers begins the Order of St. George knighting ceremony for former armored cavalry Soldier Staff Sgt. Roger Pates. (Photo by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood WTB PAO)

Lt. Col. Arthur Sellers begins the Order of St. George knighting ceremony for former armored cavalry Soldier Staff Sgt. Roger Pates. (Photo by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood WTB PAO)

“It was exactly like our Army training, only this time it was for real,” said Pates, who deployed three times to Iraq. “There were real bullets firing at real people, and real people firing back. It was a very surreal experience.”When his third deployment ended, Pates had achieved all his goals except knighthood.

Lt. Col Sellers nominated Pates for his demonstrated tactical and technical competence as an armored leader and for his contributions to the mounted force.

“He had numerous dismount and vehicle kills, and is one of the few Americans with a confirmed kill of a T-34 tank,” wrote Sellers. Sellers specifically cited Pates heroism during the invasion of Iraq when, in the absence of a tank commander, Pates took over the tank and is credited with fighting in seven major battles: As-Samawwah, Al-Hillah, Al-Qut, Al-Mossayib, Karbala Gap, Baghdad Airport and Baghdad.

“He’s done some amazing things within the armor community throughout his Army career,” said Capt. Christopher Mitchell, Pates’ former company commander. “As my master gunner, he built the company’s gunnery training plan from scratch and oversaw the training. He worked his butt off to get everyone qualified. He’s very deserving of this award.”

Staff Sgt. Roger Pates is one of hundreds of junior and senior enlisted personnel who volunteer for assignment as cadre members within Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) around the country. Cadre come from every aspect of Army life, from human resource to finance specialists to combat medic to chaplain’s assistant, and they are considered the backbone of WTUs. Pates serves as the WTB’s non-commissioned officer for operations,  in charge of writing operation orders. The armorman was injured during the invasion of Iraq, and he joined the Fort Hood WTB cadre in April 2013.

Has a member of your WTU cadre impacted your recovery? Share your experience below.

Lasting Memories: WTU Recovery Opens Doors to New Business, New Baby, and Presidential Meeting

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Stratcom

A view of the fireworks over the South Lawn during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House where 12 servicemembers received a special tour.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A view of the fireworks over the South Lawn during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House where 12 servicemembers received a special tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Staff Sgt. Patrick Percefull will never forget his three deployments, saving the lives of numerous children by wrestling a buffalo and the upcoming birth of his son, but he recently added touring the White House and meeting the President to his memory bank.

“I was among 11 other military members selected for a tour and to meet the President during the Independence Day celebration,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Percefull who is assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), Fort Bragg, N.C. “We were taken into the White House and given a nice tour ending with a meeting with the President and First Lady.”

“This was a perfect American moment, and I’m honored that I was selected to attend,” he added. “It is such a significant event that I’ll hold with me forever.”

After 11 years of service, Percefull, who was shot in the shoulder and neck when his squad walked into an ambush in Afghanistan, credits his time at the Fort Bragg WTU as a wonderful experience, but decided to transition out of the military and focus on his efforts as an entrepreneur.

“I heard all of these stories, but every step of this process has been pretty smooth,” he added. “When I leave the military, I’ll be able to help my wife with the consignment store she bought with my deployment check, especially once the baby arrives.”

He understands the process is not the same for everyone, but offers some words of advice to other WTU Soldiers.

“No one’s going to take care of you like you, so Soldiers can’t be afraid to ask questions,” he said. “I was like others, not wanting to embarrass myself, but there’s a system in place to help and it saves a lot of grief.”

Percefull is speaking about the Comprehensive Transition Plan, a plan designed to be a roadmap for recovery and transition, with personal and professional milestones, such as passing a physical fitness test, taking college courses, or participating in internships and job training.

The CTP is developed by the Soldier in consultation with his or her Family, unit leaders, and health professionals.  Soldiers set short- and long-term goals in each of six domains: physical, spiritual, emotional, Family, social, and career. Soldiers meet with their interdisciplinary support team of clinical and non-clinical professionals on a regular basis to discuss their progress on these goals and how the WTU network can support them.

Percefull encourages others to seriously think about the future because a good support system and new career path can make the journey easier.

Occupation Therapy is an Essential Asset for Warriors in Transition

By Kimberly Jones, Fort Polk WTU Occupational Therapist and guest blogger

Kimberly Jones, the Fort Polk Warrior Transition Unit Occupational Therapist, explains how her role is an important part of the WTU team.

Kimberly Jones, the Fort Polk Warrior Transition Unit Occupational Therapist, explains how her role is an important part of the WTU team.

As the Fort Polk Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) occupational therapist, I am an integral member of the WTU team, and play an important role in every Soldier in transition’s recovery. Through constant interaction with the unit command, cadre, and the Soldier’s primary care manager and physical therapist, I am able to impart insight into the Soldier’s functional abilities and recovery timeline. I am also the primary provider for evaluation and treatment of upper extremity dysfunction, and perform an initial intake interview with every WTU Soldier within 14 days of admission to the Unit.

Additionally, my role includes performing non-clinical and administrative duties, including but not limited to: attending WTU meetings, goal setting classes, writing temporary profiles, consulting with the PT on relevant positive profiles,  assisting Soldiers with Special Compensation for Assistance in Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) and Traumatic Service member’s Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) form completion in conjunction with the Primary Care Provider, issuing adaptive equipment to facilitate independence with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and patient education on specific diagnoses and conditions.

Fort Polk is located on approximately 198,000 acres in west-central Louisiana, about 75 miles north of Lake Charles, Louisiana’s sixth largest city. The Fort Polk WTU (Warrior Transition Unit) is housed in the WTU company headquarters, a brand new building, expressly designed and constructed to meet the needs of Soldiers in transition and those who are tasked with assisting them.

Fort Polk was initially created as a base for the Louisiana Maneuvers in the 1940s. During the 1950s, it was home to the 1st Armored Division, and was utilized as a basic training installation during Vietnam War years. In the 1970s, and through the ’80s, it was home to the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in the 1990s. Fort Polk is now home to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, 115th Combat Support Hospital, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, the 162nd Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army Garrison, and Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital.

Honoring Occupational Therapists at WTUs

Sergeant L. M. (left) is an Army medic who is working at the Fort Hood pharmacy while in the Warrior Transition Unit.  Occupational therapy placed her at this work therapy site in support of her goal to become a pharmacist upon completion of a medical board discharge. (2008)

Sergeant L. M. (left) is an Army medic who is working at the Fort Hood pharmacy while in the Warrior Transition Unit. Occupational therapy placed her at this work therapy site in support of her goal to become a pharmacist upon completion of a medical board discharge. (2008)

By CPT Cindy Dean, WTC Clinical Services Division
The U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command is honoring our Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Occupational Therapists for Occupational Therapy Month.  Our Occupational Therapists have been involved with Warrior Transition Units since their inception.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, “Occupational Therapy is the use of purposeful activities or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health, prevent injury or disability, and which develop, improve, sustain, or restore the highest possible level of independence of any individual who has an injury, illness, cognitive impairment, psychosocial dysfunction, mental illness, developmental or learning disability, physical disability, or other disorder or condition.”Occupational Therapists have long been a part of the medical team providing intervention to US Soldiers. Occupational Therapists have provided Soldiers with purposeful activities to perform during their rehabilitation to improve functional outcomes since World War I.

Occupational Therapy was there with the Soldiers when the first Wounded Warrior Units (WTUs) stood up in 2008. As part of the team working to transition the Soldier, the Occupational Therapist would determine the Soldier’s Occupational History, training and education, abilities, deficits and future plans. The Occupational Therapist would work with the Soldier to identify their goals, indentify avenues to reach their goals, and instill the mindset to achieve stated goals. As the WTUs have matured and developed, the Occupational Therapist is part of a large support team that collaborates to facilitate a successful transition of the Soldier.

The Occupational Therapist instructs the Soldiers in how to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals across the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) domains of Family, Spiritual, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Career. The Occupational Therapist in the WTU works with the Nurse Case Managers to determine readiness from a medical perspective for participation in Career and Education. Working with the Transition Coordinator, the Occupational Therapist ensures the work site placement is in line with the Soldier’s Career Goal and functional capabilities. The Occupational Therapists lead Life Skills Classes to begin to prepare the Soldier for a Successful Transition such as Anger Management, Leisure Skill Exploration, Meal Planning and Preparation. Each particular group is based upon the individual needs of the Soldiers in the WTU and are performance-based. Ensuring the Soldier is ready for transition is the cornerstone goal of all members of the team, the Occupational Therapist may engage the Soldier in career prep activities that focus on interacting with others, time management, and cognitive integrative skills.

Please take time to thank the Occupational Therapists on your team.

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.”

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Write a blog for WTC

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