On November 17, the Oregon National Guard and several Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs) helped host a Warrior Care Month event with AW2 for wounded warriors from Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. According to the Oregon National Guard’s Official Blog, the event included recreation and fitness training from Oregon Disability Sports:
The Soldiers played a variety of sports designed for paraplegics including wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and cycling. Although none of the participating Soldiers were paralyzed, many worked up a sweat, using the provided wheelchairs, and ended up with sweat staining dark rings on their Army-issue “PT” gear.
“You’ve got to remember that in stand-up ball you run with your legs and shoot with your arms,” said Bill Loyd, a basketball player with Oregon Disability Sports. “For us, we run with our arms and shoot with our arms.”
“They took us to school,” said a wide-eyed Spc. Michelle Siebold, a 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldier who returned from Iraq for thyroid surgery.
The event also highlighted the CBWTUs that allow Soldiers to heal closer to home while also maintaining camaraderie that aids in the healing and transition process. In the blog entry, AW2 Director COL Rice reaffirms AW2′s commitment to supporting wounded warriors wherever they are located, for as long as it takes:
Program director, Col. Jim Rice, said his staff will support the wounded Soldiers for as long as it takes for them to make the transition.
“Everyone in the Army Wounded Warrior Program understands what a huge price our Soldiers and Families have paid in support of their nation,” Rice said.
In 2007, the U.S. Army expanded the program, allowing more National Guard and Reserve Soldiers to recover in their hometowns using community-based Warrior Training Units.
In addition to the sports and recreation training, the wounded warriors participating in the event also received information on local, state, and federal benefits available to wounded Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.
To read more about the Warrior Care Month event AW2 held with the Oregon National Guard and CBWTUs, click here to visit the Oregon Military Department Blog, the official blog of the Oregon National Guard.