From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
By Mary Smart, Hawaii
When a service member is injured, the first concern is to provide the medical attention he or she needs to enable them to return to family, work, and recreation in as healthy condition as possible. But, even after release from the hospital or rehabilitation, the wounded warrior needs subsequent support.
Warrior Care Month was established in 2008 to raise awareness of the needs of wounded warriors and spotlight programs that provide non-medical support for wounded and ill service members. Eligibility for warrior care includes: combat veterans, military members and veterans with non-combat related medical issues, veterans and current military members having illnesses rather than injuries, and veterans and current military serving who are both sick and injured.
The six service branches have wounded warrior programs with the Navy and Coast Guard, and the Air Force and Space Force working together under the Wounded Warrior/Safe Harbor and Wounded Warrior/Warrior Care and Transition programs, respectively. The Army has the Wounded Warrior/Warrior Care and Transition program and Marine Corps has the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
Warrior Care Month is non-service specific and serves as a mechanism to standardize warrior care. Activities planned during the month to raise awareness may include adaptive athletic competitions, military base tours, holistic health regimens, town hall meetings and other community events. Support for Warrior Care Month can also include providing educational programs about the needs of wounded warriors.
Educational resources can be found on the DOD Warrior Care official site found at: https://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/ or from the associated Caregiver website: https://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/caregiver-resources/.