Triad of Care professionals including primary care managers, nurse case managers, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and transition coordinators gathered in Orlando, Florida this week for the Warrior Transition Command Annual Conference (http://wtc.army.mil/). Also in attendance was Mr. John Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy (WWCTP), who offered opening remarks on Wednesday morning.
Mr. Campbell first thanked the attendees for the critical work they do on behalf of wounded warriors and their families.
“We hear it from senior leaders all the time—General Chiarelli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_W._Chiarelli), former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Gates) and now from Secretary Leon Panetta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Panetta)—that next to war fighting itself, the job of caring for our wounded warriors is the most important job there is, and I know that’s a fact,” Mr. Campbell said. “I know the challenges you face are matched only by the good work you do.”
Mr. Campbell urged attendees to be innovative in the way they address problems, and invited them to leverage existing solutions where possible. In particular, Mr. Campbell invited those in attendance to use WWCTP programs such as the TAP Webinars (http://www.turbotap.org/register.tpp) and Recovery Care Coordinators wherever and whenever they can.
“Please remember that I am here to help and support you,” Mr. Campbell told the audience. “The programs my office oversees are designed specifically with wounded warriors and transitioning Service members in mind. Leverage them. Use them. Tell us how we can make them better. We want you to succeed because when you succeed, our wounded warriors succeed. After all they have done for us, that is truly the least we can do for them.”
Mr. Campbell concluded his remarks by emphasizing that, as the wars draw down and more and more Service members return to their families, their units and their communities, the work of care coordinators, care providers and caregivers is really just beginning.
“I am here to remind you that you are not alone,” Mr. Campbell said, “and that long after the guns are silenced, we have not succeeded if all of America does not hear the falling silence of the drums of war as a deafening call to action—a call to help lead our wounded warriors, the next greatest generation, into the classroom as teachers, into the board room as executives, into their communities as small business owners and entrepreneurs, and into the lives of all Americans as leaders in their communities, their government, and back to their military to help others along the way.”
Also in presenting at the conference was Mr. Bob Carrington, Director of Recovery Care Coordination at WWCTP (http://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/recoverycare/), who provided information to Army Transition Coordinators about the Operation Warfighter program (http://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/recoverycare/operation-warfighter/).
Mr. Koby J. Langley is a special advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, where he advises on strategic planning recommendations related to wounded, ill, injured and transitioning Service members.