Showing posts with label Wounded Warrior Battalion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wounded Warrior Battalion. Show all posts

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Lt. Col. Stephen "Slade" Mount Stands As Example of Healing PTSD

Spirit of service guides Marines dealing with physical, mental wounds
The San Diego Union Tribune
Carl Prine
December 23, 2016
All devout Christians, these three Marines see Christmas as more than the day to honor the birth of Christ, the man they believe to be the son of God. It also reminds them that their savior’s life and suffering should guide their lives year-round.
Lt. Col. Stephen "Slade" Mount, holding the flight helmet he wore when he was wounded in 2004, is now commander of Wounded Warrior Battalion West at Camp Pendleton. (Nelvin C. Cepeda * Union-Tribune)
Blinded, slumped next to his crumpled chopper at the foot of Iraq’s Najaf cemetery, Stephen “Slade” Mount cupped his gunshot face to keep it from oozing into the street.

He knew he’d never pilot a Huey again. But he never could’ve predicted on that brutal day in 2004 that he’d recover sight in one eye, carve out a long career in the Marine Corps and come to think — in a strange but comforting way — of his terrible wound as a kind of gift.

“I actually became a better Marine officer,” the Southern California native said.
For senior military leaders, he has another message: “Be ready for what you ask for, but be that leader who can show other Marines that it’s OK to ask for help.”
read more here

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wounded Marine Shares "Brotherhood, loyalty and commitment"

Marine finds solitude in taking care of brothers in arms
DVIDS Marine Corps
Wounded Warrior Regiment Story
by Cpl. Jared Lingafelt
March 6, 2015
“When I sit down and talk to a Marine and know that I have helped them out, even if it is just talking to them and letting them vent, they walk away feeling better and it’s a great feeling to know I was a part of that,” said Anderson, a Birmingham, Alabama, native.
Cpl. Jared Lingafelt
Sgt. Jeremy Anderson, an athlete from Wounded Warrior Battalion – East and Birmingham, Alabama, native, draws his bow back and takes aim during an archery practice at the 2015 Marine Corps Trials. Competition provides opportunities for Marines like Anderson to train as athletes, while increasing their strength so they can continue their military service or develop healthy habits for life outside the service. The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment enables wounded, ill, or injured Marines to focus on their abilities and to find new avenues to thrive. The fifth annual Marine Corps Trials is being held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 3-11. Athletes will compete in archery, cycling, shooting, swimming, track, field, sitting volleyball, and wheelchair basketball. (Photo by Cpl. Jared Lingafelt)
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Brotherhood, loyalty and commitment may just be words to most, but for Sgt. Jeremy Anderson, they are a way of life.

“I have always felt that it is my duty to take care of Marines,” said Anderson, an athlete from Wounded Warrior Battalion – East competing in the 2015 Marine Corps Trials.

“Coming up through the Marine Corps I had leadership, but they weren’t really fully engaged so now that I am in the position I am in, I want to help as much as possible.”

Anderson has served numerous job titles and billets throughout his career including barracks manager, training clerk and staff judge advocate clerk, but it was the injuries he sustained while serving as a field artillery man that eventually landed him at the Wounded Warrior Regiment. 

Deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan took their toll on Anderson’s mind and body, but despite the challenges he faced, his focus remained on helping out his Marines.
read more here

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Retired Marine Col. Tim Maxwell started program for wounded warriors

This is about Wounded Warrior Program and not Wounded Warrior "Project" you see on TV.
Wounded Warrior Program Founded by Col. With TBI
by Richard Sisk
Feb 19, 2014

Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- A plaque here hangs on the wall at the Wounded Warrior complex dedicated by Gen. James Amos, the Marine Commandant, to the self-described "mean S.O.B." who overcame his own traumatic brain injury to start the program.
tim maxwell 428x285
The tribute to retired Col. Tim Maxwell read in part that he "led the way for the entire Marine Corps in the uncharted waters of integrating wounded Marines back into operational units."

Maxwell said the idea for the Wounded Warrior program came from a job Amos gave him in the summer of 2005 as he recovered from his own devastating injuries. Amos, then commander of the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Lejeune, asked Maxwell to visit other injured Marines on base and at local hospitals to gauge their progress.

Maxwell said he came back with a message for Amos: "Sir, these guys need somebody to be with, they need to be with each other, they need to be hanging together."

"The bottom line -- there's a problem with guys coming back," Maxwell said. "Their fire team, their squad, their platoon, taking care of each other -- that was more important than life," he said.

"You know you matter" in the military, most of all in combat, Maxwell said. The sudden loss of that sense of self-worth that wounded troops can experience "just eats them up," Maxwell said.
read more here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wounded, ill and injured receive new commanding officer

Wounded, ill and injured receive new commanding officer
Daily News Staff
Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The wounded, ill and injured as well as their families took part in the Wounded Warrior Battalion change of command ceremony late on Tuesday.

“It is a bittersweet day, but far more sweet than bitter,” said Marine Col. Willard A. Buhl, the commanding officer of Wounded Warrior Regiment. “I don’t know if it gets much better than this in the Marine Corps.”

Nearly 300 people ranging from friends, family, Marines, sailors and civilians took part as Lt. Col. Nicholas E. Davis relinquished command of Wounded Warrior Battalion East to Lt. Col. Leland Suttee on Tuesday. The battalion is charged with providing continuous, far-reaching leadership to Marines and sailors worldwide in order to ensure all wounded warriors and families successfully transition back to full duty or civilian life.
read more here

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thieves stole everything from deployed Marine including underwear

Marine at war robbed of everything
Thieves struck while away in Afghanistan; vets offer help
Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
Dec. 28, 2012

Hammond, 34, originally from Peotone, Ill., is serving her second combat tour. Her husband is assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion, recovering from injuries he suffered in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005.
(From left) Maj. Shane Goodwin, Regional Command Southwest Comptroller; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Grant Murphy, RC (SW) Financial Management Resource Officer; and Gunnery Sgt. Jamie Hammond, RS (SW) Comptroller chief, sing during a memorial for Master Sgt. Scott Pruitt who was killed in action April 28, in Zaranj, Afghanistan.

It had been a tough year to begin with. Then Gunnery Sgt. Jamie Hammond discovered that just about everything she owned except the desert camouflage on her back was stolen while she was in Afghanistan.

All her other Marine Corps uniforms, including the ones she got at boot camp 13 years ago. Her baby spoon. Fossils collected with her grandfather. The safe filled with tax returns and other important documents. Bedding, snowboard, shoes.

Everything, gone.

Hammond, a comptroller chief with Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan, had returned for a conference. The day before her flight back to the war zone, she stopped by Cube Smart in Vista on Nov. 30 to drop off some gear.

“When I lifted the door to my storage unit, I was in utter shock, disbelief, panic and rage. All of the items I had acquired during my childhood and adult life were stolen from me,” Hammond recalled in an email. “It is still hard to comprehend the loss.”

When her yearlong tour ends, it will really sink in, “since there is nothing to unpack.”

The thieves pilfered about $25,000 worth of her possessions; insurance will reimburse her for $2,000, Hammond said. They also charged on her cards, passed her checks to an identity theft ring and tried to obtain a fraudulent mortgage.

“They stole her damn underwear!” fumed Neil Kenny, 63, of Staten Island, N.Y., and a Marine veteran of the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh, Vietnam.
read more here

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Harley riders raise funds for Warriors Fund

Harley riders raise funds for wounded warriors
Nov. 3, 2012

At first, all Sgt. Kealoha Kuikahi saw was a couple of Harley-Davidsons rolling toward the Warrior Hope and Cure Center at Camp Pendleton on Friday morning.

Then the rumble grew louder. Soon there was what seemed to be an unending line of Harleys heading toward him along the Marine base's roads. In all, there were more than 400 motorcyclists.

They were part of the first Injured Warriors Appreciation Run from Harley-Davidson headquarters in Irvine to Camp Pendleton. The event, sponsored by the Orange Coast Chapter of the Harley Owners Group, raised more than $14,000 through registrations, sponsorships and online donations for the Warrior Foundation.

The foundation, based in San Diego, helps injured service members at Southern California military medical centers such as Camp Pendleton's Naval Hospital, said Sandy Lehmkuhler, who heads up the all-volunteer organization. Part of the money raised from the run will help more than 400 service members travel home for the holidays this year, she said.

Kuikahi, who was wounded in Iraq, is one of more than 400 Marines with the Wounded Warrior Battalion West, activated in 2007. The battalion provides recovery support to Marines, said Lt. Col Jim Fallwood, the battalion's commanding officer.
read more here

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Naval hospital hires first wounded Marine through REACH program

Naval hospital hires first wounded Marine through REACH program
September 05, 2012

John Althouse/The Daily News
Retired Gunnery Sgt. Felix Rivera speaks with Al Austin, the coordinator for the REACH Program, at the U.S. Naval Hospital aboard Camp Lejeune.

Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune recently hired the first wounded, ill and injured Marine trained through the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery’s (BUMED) REACH program.

REACH, which stands for Reintegrate, Educate and Advance Combatants in Health Care, trains wounded, ill and injured Marines and sailors during their recovery for a federal civil service career in Navy medical operations.

Former Marine Gunnery Sgt. Felix Rivera is the first student to have gone through the program and be offered a job working in his field.

Rivera served 16 years in the Corps before narrowly missing the blast of a suicide bomber while deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Standing 30 feet away from the bomb that killed one Marine, 12 civilians, six Afghani policemen and injured many more, Rivera was thrown several feet by the explosion and severely wounded from shrapnel. He spent three years in the Wounded Warrior Battalion before finally being discharged from the Marine Corps.

“I thought I was going to be the next sergeant major of the Marine Corps,” Rivera said of the difficult decision he faced once learning he was no longer medically able to serve because of his injuries. “It was hard for me.”

He said he wanted to stay close to the Marine Corps, an organization he’s always loved and admired, and so when the opportunity to join REACH presented itself, he took it.
read more here

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Camp Pendleton Wounded Marines wait two years in limbo

By Bob Brewin
August 24, 2012

Marines in the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif., spend an average of two years, or 730 days, waiting to transition back to active duty or to discharge, and this lengthy process impedes recovery, according to the Defense Department inspector general.

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have set a goal of 295 days to process troops through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. At Camp Pendleton it took medical evaluation boards more than two-thirds of that time -- 197 days -- just to complete their assessments.

Russell Beland, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for military manpower and personnel, in comments appended to the IG report, flatly declared the goal to move troops through IDES in 295 days “unrealistic,” but said the Navy will work to get as close to it as possible.

Beland said the Navy now manages all IDES case file transfers electronically and is developing technology to make it easier to share discharge information with VA. He said the branch also has streamlined medical narrative summaries, which should speed the medical review process.

Administrative and medical staff at the Camp Pendleton Wounded Warrior Battalion told the IG that the more time Marines and corpsmen spent in transition, “the more likely a warrior would abuse alcohol, or take risks that would ultimately get them into trouble.”
read more here

Wounded and Waiting

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wounded Fort Drum Soldier Partly Blames Battalion for His Crimes

Wounded Fort Drum Soldier Partly Blames Battalion for His Crimes
Story Published: Feb 28, 2012

Last June, Sergeant Albert Languet III pleaded guilty in connection with two robberies at Kinney Drugs in the Seaway Plaza just outside of Watertown.

He was sentenced to five years probation.

Languet says his Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion is partly to blame for his crimes.

"It was mayhem. My life was mayhem," he said.

A traumatic brain injury suffered during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan landed Languet in the Warrior Transition Battalion.

Languet says he was with the unit for just a few months before he became addicted to pain killers.

"I couldn't go to the unit and say, 'I have an addiction problem. I need to go to rehab,'" he said.

Languet says he was afraid he would be kicked out of the Army if word got out that he was hooked.
read more here


Fort Drum Official Says 'Wounded Warrior' Problems Have Been Solved
Story Published: Feb 29, 2012

The officer in charge of Fort Drum's medical services says that when local military officials saw a report critical of the post's "wounded warrior" programs, it was like a punch in the gut.
Fort Drum MEDDAC Commander Col. Mark Thompson was live on 7 News This Morning Wednesday. Click on the picture to see the whole interview.

The good news, Thompson said, is that the problems pointed out in the report from the Department of Defense's Inspector General's (IG) office have now been corrected.

The report was critical of the way soldier's were treated in Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion, which is supposed to rehabilitate wounded soldiers so they can return to their regular units.

The official report was released in September, but Fort Drum officials saw a draft in July and "it was a bit of a punch in the gut in terms of what we want to see our unit doing and how we're treating our soldiers," Thompson said.
read more here

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

$53 Million Barracks Won't Help Soldiers Who Can't Get In

​Wounded Warriors Get $53 Million Barracks, But that Won't Help Soldiers Who Can't Get In
By Nina Shapiro Tue., Aug. 16 2011

Joint Base Lewis-McChord held a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday for a $53 million barracks that will house wounded soldiers. The facility, part of the base's "Warrior Transition Battalion," features wood floors and barbeque grills, and was hailed by U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks as a sign of "significant improvement" in the way the Army treats its returning soldiers. As two recent suicides show, though, a fancy new barracks isn't likely to insure that soldiers get the help they need.
On June 28, Army Ranger Jared Hagemann, stationed at Lewis-McChord shot himself in the head. "He needed psychological help," says Michael Prysner, a Los Angeles-based organizer with the national veterans' group March Forward who has talked to Hagemann's widow, Ashley. Hagemann (pictured above) had been trying to get that help since his first deployment, Prysner says.

Yet the Army kept redeploying Hagemann. Before he killed himself, he faced a staggering ninth deployment. The staff sergeant, convinced that he was damned for his actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, fought to get out of another tour, but the Army insisted, according to a KOMO-TV interview with Ashley.

Several veterans' rights activists who spoke with SW today see Hagemann's fate as typical of many damaged soldiers. They don't go to the Wounded Transition Battalion because they aren't judged wounded enough, and the military is desperate for their manpower.

Kevin Baker, who was discharged from the 4-9 Infantry Regimen last December, says that virtually "every person in my unit on rear detachment was trying to get into WTB." A rear detachment is composed of soldiers who stay at the base, or are sent back from war due to mental or physical injuries. He says his detachment held about 15 people, and none were admitted into the battalion for wounded soldiers.
read more here

Monday, February 1, 2010

Camp Pendleton claims strides in treating injuries to body and mind

MILITARY: Caring for wounded warriors
Camp Pendleton claims strides in treating injuries to body and mind

By MARK WALKER - Posted: January 30, 2010

There were a record 52 suicides among the Marine Corps' roughly 202,000 troops in 2009. The Corps recorded 48 suicides in 2008; 33 in 2007 and 25 in 2006.

He says the nightmares from the four roadside bomb attacks in Iraq are easing.

His memory is improving, so long as he uses a pattern to recall where things are. And the pain in his back is getting better.

But Camp Pendleton's Sgt. Kurtis Foster knows his days as a Marine are nearing an end.

"I can't stay in and do the things I wanted to do when I joined," the 24-year-old machine gunner and native of Oakhurst said last week. "I can't go back to the infantry."

Foster is one of nearly 100 Camp Pendleton Marines assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion West, established at the base in 2007 to treat troops injured in battle, training or off-base accidents who don't require long-term hospitalization.

Now fully staffed and about to open a major new facility, the battalion primarily treats troops with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.
read more here
Caring for wounded warriors

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Canine reports for duty at Kane'ohe base

Marine Staff Sgt. Karlo Salgado gets to know Finn at the Kane'ohe base. Lance Cpl. Zachary Kemp and Cpl. Masato Takaki, standing, also enjoyed the dog's company.
Photos by JEFF WIDENER The Honolulu Advertiser

Canine reports for duty at Kane'ohe base
Service dog lifting spirits of Marines recovering at Wounded Warrior barracks
By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward Writer

KANE'OHE — Marine Corps Base Hawaii's latest recruit breaks the mold with his laid-back attitude and nonregulation hairstyle. But he's highly trained and devoted to his unit.

Pressed into service about a month ago, Finn, a yellow Labrador retriever, is stationed at the Wounded Warrior Battalion at the Kane'ohe base. His duty is simple — bring joy to the people around him — but his ability to carry it out took two years of rigorous training that's expected of any Marine.

A highly trained service dog, Finn spends his days in a comfortable air conditioned lounge filled with brown leather sofas, computers, a television and game table. The people there are recuperating and Finn brings a touch of home and a sense of calm to a sometimes alien or depressing situation.

read more here
Canine reports for duty at Kaneohe base

Saturday, December 6, 2008

NY Firefighters Travel for NC Wounded Warriors

NY Firefighters Travel for NC Wounded Warriors
WNCT - Greenville,NC,USA

NY Firefighters Travel for NC Wounded Warriors

By Arthur Mondale
Published: December 5, 2008

It’s something many of us will be doing, to support our troops this holiday season: sending care packages.

But what’s better than sending a simple package?

How about hand- delivering tens of thousands of dollars worth of supplies in person.

It seems Santa and his helpers got a new mode of transportation in the form of a flat bed U-Haul truck…the elves, firefighters…but instead of coming from the North Pole, they came from the big apple.

“You can’t put a monetary price on this, said Daniel O’Keefe, a member of NY Nassau County Fire. “People stop working for days to get this done…raised $22,000 in about 4 hours in one night, we raised over $100,000 this year alone.“

Men and women representing all 71 fire stations in New York’s Nassau County brought a truck load of care packages to members of Camp Lejeine’s Wounded Warriors Battalion East.

From the basics like tee’s, and physical-training gear, to the pricier items like lap tops and I-pods, no marine left empty handed.

After all these first responders say these marine’s sacrifices are why they’re here.

click above for more of this and for video report

Sunday, July 20, 2008

'Changing the way a Corps thinks'

'Changing the way a Corps thinks'

July 20, 2008 - 12:29AM
It began as an idea: a place for wounded warriors to heal. It blossomed into a barracks, then grew into a battalion. Now, Wounded Warriors Battalion East has entered its second year, still growing as it offers injured Marines and sailors a place to connect, commiserate and recover.

Master Sgt. Ken Barnes was a gunnery sergeant in 2004, the commander of the personal security detachment for then-Col. Ron Johnson, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Barnes was standing in the turret of a humvee when a huge aircraft bomb exploded.

He saw the bright flash and watched something he initially thought was his hand bounce across the top of the vehicle. He later learned it was his watch - which saved his hand.

Barnes took a two-inch piece of shrapnel in his left wrist, causing nerve damage so severe he can't move his fingers independently or feel most of his hand. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and "shredded" the cartilage in both knees.

The explosion came just about a month after another blast - one that severely injured the MEU's operations officer, Lt. Col. Timothy Maxwell. It was during their own treatment and recoveries that they realized - firsthand - the need for a place where the wounded could recover together and help each other heal.

What began as a type of support group grew into a barracks, and in 2005, the living facility near the II Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters was christened "Maxwell Hall." On June 30, 2007, the growing group of wounded warriors became a battalion.

The idea really isn't new, Barnes said. After all, during the Vietnam War, combat wounded would spend their recovery time in Veterans Affairs hospitals together. But with advances in technology, doctors would work to get the injured service member on the road to recovery, then send him home.
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