AW2 Community Support Network Update

By Sarah Greer, AW2 Community Support Network Coordinator

AW2 is proud to announce the 21 organizations that joined the AW2 Community Support Network between November 1 and December 15, to demonstrate their support for severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.  Local community support is at the heart of the AW2 program, and the AW2 Community Support Network connects local organizations with wounded warriors and Families living in their hometowns.

Most of these organizations are already posted on the AW2 Web site, and we at AW2 are working to post the rest as quickly as possible.

Federal Programs:

Operation Warfighter

Additional Programs:

Dale Carnegie Training Psychiatric Service Dog Society
Family Services of Greater Houston Raytheon
Fisher House Foundation Segs4Vets
FLAGS Across the Nation Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Show of Support Military Hunt
Heroes on the Water Ski Apache Disabled Skier’s Program
HOPE for Heroes – Samaritan Counseling Center Still Serving Veterans
Lakeshore Foundation Team River Runner
New Horizons Service Dogs, Inc. The Michael J. Novosel Foundation
Operation Open Arms The Silver Star Families of America

Any organization can join the AW2 Community Support Network, and any AW2 Soldier, Veteran, or Family member can recommend an organization. For more information, including the registration form, visit the AW2 Community Support Network on the AW2 Web site.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

The Story Behind the Photo

SSG Shilo Harris is featured on several AW2 outreach materials

SSG Shilo Harris is featured on several AW2 outreach materials

By Lee McMahon, WTC Stratcom

The following has been republished from AW2′s fall issue of The Journey, which is available for download in PDF format.

AW2 Soldier SSG Shilo Harris was severely injured February 19, 2007, when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), killing three Soldiers, wounding the driver, and leaving Harris with third degree burns (full thickness) on 35 percent of his body.

Due to the severity of his burns, SSG Harris is missing his ears, tip of his nose, and three fingers, in addition, he sustained fractures to his left collar bone and the C-7 vertebrae. Following his battlefield evacuation, SSG Harris remained in a coma for 48 days. He spent about two years in recovery at the burn unit of Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX.

SSG Harris calls his wife, Kathreyn, a “rock” who has been his strength throughout his lengthy recovery. SSG Harris is the first in the Army to participate in cutting-edge regenerative stem cell research to attempt the re-growth of his fingers.

He is assigned to the Warrior Transition Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, TX, while he continues to recover and awaits medical retirement. He speaks to groups and serves as a mentor to incoming patients at BAMC. Mrs. Harris now serves as an AW2 Advocate to AW2 Soldiers at BAMC.

AW2 Weekly Digest 12/7-12/11

  • AW2 Veteran Joe Bowser, featured in the Old Town Crier, went on a trip—to military bases and hospitals in Iraq and Germany—that provided him a sense of closure.
  • AW2 Advocates Timothy Brice, Madigan Army Medical Center, WA; Sue Maloney, Seattle, WA; and Kima Tozay, Fort Lewis, WA; were featured on the Army One Source Page in an article about Heroes to Hometowns.
  • AW2 Soldier SSG Alfredo De Los Santos, featured in Army News, tested a new microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  • AW2 Soldier and Veterans LTC Greg Gadson, Nathan Hunt, and Mike McNaughton—as well as BG Gary Cheek, Commander, Warrior Transition Command—were featured in The Leader for their participation in the Ride 2 Recovery Florida Challenge.
  • AW2 Veteran Brian Pearce, featured in the Richmond Post Dispatch, is participating in the West Point Society of Richmond’s Wounded Warrior Mentorship Program.
  • AW2 Veteran Peter John Rooney III was featured in Daily Hampshire Gazette article about his injury, rehabilitation, Family and community support, and recovery.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

Female AW2 Soldiers and Veterans Making Headlines

  • AW2 Veteran Jessica Clements was featured in an Akron Beacon Journal article about her injury, rehabilitation, faith, determination, helping others, and a new life. People helped her during her recovery, and she decided that she wanted to help others as well. She began classes at University of Akron with hopes of becoming a social worker. For her hard work and determination, she was named Ohio bachelor of social work student of the year by the National Association of Social Workers. She plans to attend graduate school and has applied for an intense 11-month master’s program that will start in May.
  • AW2 Veteran Danelea Kelly, featured on Fox News, went to Washington, DC, to ask Congress to expand the programs that have helped her—the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program and Education Assistance for Veterans from the National Organization on Disability. Kelly discussed the challenges for Veterans in finding jobs. She asked that potential employers treat Veterans with respect, dedication, and patience because that is what they gave when serving the country.
  • AW2 Soldier SGT Kisha Makerney, featured in Human Events, became the tenth Soldier—and the first woman—to return to a combat zone with a prosthesis. She served her first tour of duty in Iraq right out of high school with the Oklahoma National Guard. Back home, her leg was amputated after a motorcycle accident. She rejoined her unit and was a correctional instructor for the Iraqis. Currently, she is undergoing training with other wounded Soldiers and Veterans at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.  She is also waiting for either deployment orders or acceptance to flight school to operate Apache helicopters.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

WTC Launches New Web site

BG Gary Cheek

BG Gary Cheek

In honor of the Army’s Warrior Care Month, the Warrior Transition Command (WTC) launched a new Web site and blog  on November 29 at http://WTC.armylive.dodlive.mil. The establishment of the WTC Web site is part of an ongoing effort by the command to better enable the Army to support wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families by providing information and updates from the command. With the launch of new Web site, we are providing information to nearly 9,000 WTC Soldiers and Veterans and allowing them to easily share feedback and experiences through the WTC Blog.

Please take a moment to visit http://WTC.armylive.dodlive.mil today and let us know what you think of the Web site by posting a comment on the blog.

Over the course of the next several weeks and months we will be publishing additional information to the Web site and asking for your feedback on a number of issues that are critical to the care of Warriors in Transition. While we build out these additional resources, we encourage you to provide feedback on how we can improve the WTC Web site as we move forward.

The Army has come a long way in improving warrior care and has established a program that delivers high quality care and transition services to Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families. But it’s not perfect. Every day the members of this command strive to make the program better, and we are constantly seeking your input on what needs to get fixed and how we can take the program to the next level.

Please visit the new WTC Web site at http://WTC.armylive.dodlive.mil and the new blog at http://WTC.armylive.dodlive.mil/blog and tell us what you think.

Sincerely,

BG Gary Cheek

Commander, Warrior Transition Command (WTC)

Write a blog for AW2

AW2 Soldiers, Veterans, and Families can submit a blog for AW2 by emailing WarriorCareCommunications [at] conus.army.mil.