Showing posts with label wounded reservists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wounded reservists. Show all posts

Thursday, October 13, 2011

40,000 Active National Guard and Reservists recovering from wounds

Army wants more Soldiers back on deployable status
October 11, 2011

By Master Sgt. Doug Sample

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 11, 2011) -- Decreasing the number of Soldiers who are medically unfit for deployment has become a major focus of the U.S. Army Medical Command.

It was the topic of discussion by a panel of senior medical officials Monday at the 2011 Association of the United States Army Institute for Land Warfare annual meeting and exposition at the Washington, D.C convention center.

Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, who heads MEDCOM and led off the discussion, said that since the drawdown, the Army has seen a growing population of medically "non-ready" Soldiers. Currently the Army's mission readiness stands at just 85 percent according to one of the panelist, while the Guard and Reserve deployability level is much lower at 70 percent.

Schoomaker pointed out that the reserve-component number is actually up 30 percent from three years ago. Nonetheless, these numbers have brought concern, Schoomaker said, adding that having so many Soldiers unfit for duty is beginning to burden unit readiness.

Schoomaker said with the loss of the Army temporary end strength, "We begin to see a growing number of medically non-ready Soldiers with a smaller population of Soldiers overall available for continued demand for deployment."

"Every Soldier that's added to the pool of medically non-ready Soldiers taps into the availability of Soldiers to deploy and be part of the force, and this has begun to erode the readiness of the Army as a whole," Schoomaker said. "Its an issue the leadership of the Army has identified as a major problem for us, and turned to us and the personnel community, and all commanders in the force to come up with a solution."

Maj. Gen. Richard Stone, deputy surgeon general for mobilization, said the Army currently has as many as 40,000 active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers recovering from wounds or transitioning out of the military through Warrior Transition Units across the country.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memories of day when Boston firefighter saved Boston cop in Fallujah

For two Hub officers, a day to remember

By Renee Nadeau Algarin
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When Staff Sgt. Terrence Burke, a Marine Corps reservist and Boston cop, was blown out of his Humvee by a roadside bomb and lay bleeding in a Fallujah street in 2006, it was a Boston firefighter who came rushing in under insurgent fire to pull him to safety.

Burke, now 33 and an amputee but still a Boston cop, used his keynote address at yesterday’s Memorial Day observance in Dorchester to publicly thank Boston Fire Lt. James O’Brien for saving his life. Thousands of miles from home, O’Brien — a Naval Reserve Medical Corpsman — was one of two medics who pulled Burke and two other Marines to safety that September day.

“I was definitely going into shock, but I was conscious. I remember being on a stretcher and then being on the back of an evacuation vehicle,” Burke said, rattling off his injuries: a severely injured left leg that had to be amputated; a fractured right ankle and left forearm; two collapsed lungs; a ruptured ear drum; and third-degree burns over nearly 20 percent of his body.
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For two Hub officers, a day to remember

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hawaii reservists are not alone when they come home from battle

Hawaii reservists are not alone when they come home from battle
Aug 28, 2010

By Teri Okita

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Flashbacks, insomnia, hallucinations - all very real problems for some of Hawaii's returning servicemembers.

"It was pretty rough. I did have nightmares. The stress level was pretty high for me, just because of what I experienced there."

Sergeant Noelani DE Silva saw some pretty horrific things during her 10 month tour in Iraq. "I had no choice but to be strong, "she says. DE Silva's job was to meet with and collect personal information from injured soldiers - many who's limbs had been blown off from roadside bombs.

When she returned home to Hawaii in 2007, she had a hard time adjusting, although she was never specifically diagnosed with PTSD. Still, at first, she didn't want counseling. "I did actually go and seek help afterwards for relief, ‘cause I couldn't sleep, and it was real difficult."

DE Silva still battles some emotions, especially when thinking about a fellow soldier who she took under her wing in Iraq. She tears up when saying "He's still having problems, and we've been back for what, three years now? So, I still carry that burden because it kind of destroyed his personal life."

The Department of Defense finally decided it needed to specifically address the problems and challenges of reservists. Since 9-11, the military has had to call upon more part-time servicemembers for both Iraq and Afghanistan, and many have gone on multiple tours in the Middle East. When they return from war, their needs are often quite different from those on active duty.

Many return, not to the security and familiarity of a military base, but to their civilian lives where they were often left on their own. So, two summers ago - seven years after the September 11th attacks - the DOD launched the Yellow Ribbon program.
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Hawaii reservists are not alone when they come home from battle

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



Feingold Amendments to Defense Authorization Bill, Passed By the Senate, Help Service Members During Their Transition to Civilian Life and Ensure Forces are Prepared to Help Communities in the Event of a Catastrophe

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wounded Warrior Transition Assistance Act,

Washington, D.C. – Late last week, the U.S. Senate passed a Defense authorization bill that included two amendments authored by Senator Russ Feingold to help troops transitioning to civilian life and to ensure forces here at home are better prepared to respond to emergencies. Feingold’s first amendment, offered along with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and based on their bipartisan Wounded Warrior Transition Assistance Act, will help ensure wounded service members of the Guard and Reserves are not discharged before their injuries are treated and evaluated. Many wounded service members have been discharged prematurely and this has compromised their recovery and imposed additional hardships upon them and their families. The legislation was introduced after a young soldier from Wisconsin came to Feingold in need of assistance after being discharged before his injuries were evaluated.

“I am pleased the Senate recognized the need to help our brave men and women in uniform transition back to civilian life,” Feingold said. “Hearing the story of a young soldier from Wisconsin who fell through the cracks after serving his country was both heart-breaking and infuriating. Allowing the men and women who selflessly serve our country to be left behind is unacceptable. With passage of this amendment, we can help ensure our service members are not faced with financial hardships that can compound the already difficult transition back to their lives at home.”

Feingold and Murkowski’s legislation has broad support among military and veteran service organizations and is endorsed by Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States. The cost of the legislation is fully offset so as not to increase the federal deficit.

The defense bill also included an amendment by Feingold to help ensure communities across the nation are protected in the event of a catastrophe. Feingold’s amendment seeks to ensure the Department of Defense adequately funds forces needed to deal with the consequences of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive event. Last year, the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves concluded that Department of Defense’s (DOD) failure to establish these forces in the wake of 9/11 had left an "appalling gap" in our defenses. DOD is working on establishing the needed forces but has historically failed to provide needed personnel and adequate funding. Feingold’s amendment would increase transparency over defense spending to help Congress ensure these vital units receive the resources they need.

“The Department of Defense must no longer drag its feet in committing resources to these forces, which would be absolutely critical in the event of a catastrophic incident,” Feingold said. “This amendment creates the transparency in the defense budget necessary to ensure these forces are funded and able to respond to emergencies.”

Feingold has consistently worked to ensure domestic readiness for a terrorist attack. Feingold is the author of a law requiring each state and U.S. territory be equipped with at least one WMD-Civil Support Team, National Guard units that would provide the initial response to a chemical, biological or nuclear disaster. These teams are now up and running in every state in the union.