Recovery Care Coordinators (RCCs), Non-Medical Care Managers and Advocates attending this week’s training, sponsored by the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, will have a chance to learn more about the wide variety of resources and organizations available to help recovering Service members and their families through a resource exhibition that will be held tomorrow afternoon as part of the week-long training event.
In addition to partners who have participated in the resource exhibition in the past, including the National Resource Directory (NRD), the Computer/Electronics Accommodations Program (CAP), Military OneSource and the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRP), this year’s exhibition will include some brand-new participants as well.
Ride 2 Recovery (R2R), a national non-profit with the goal of providing recovering Service members with a rehabilitative experience through cycling, will be on hand to show case some of their adaptive cycles and other equipment, and to help better inform care coordinators about the adaptive sports opportunities that are available to recovering Service members. R2R offers indoor and outdoor cycling events for recovering Service members in cooperation with Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs), Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and VA hospitals and centers across the country.
Also attending for the first time to represent adaptive sports and recreation opportunities for recovering Service members will be the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Veterans Administration Adaptive Sports Program.
For the past two years, the USOC has hosted the Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. and will host this year’s Games as well, from April 30 through May 5. In addition to its support of the Warrior Games, the USOC also has site coordinators located at each of the major Military Treatment Facilities, creating opportunities for early engagement by identifying eligible recovering Service members and educating cadre on the benefits of participation in adaptive sports and athletic reconditioning activities.
The VA’s Adaptive Sports Program works with VA staff, the U.S. Paralympics and community-based adaptive sports programs across the country to encourage disabled veterans to redefine themselves by participating and/or competing in adaptive sports. Some veterans training in their respective sports are also provided a monthly assistance allowance by the VA. To qualify for the monthly allowance, a veteran must have a service-related or non-service-related disability and must meet the qualifying military standard for a particular sport. In addition, the VA program provides grants to U.S. Paralympics member organizations, Paralympic Sports Clubs and veteran and military organizations nationwide to enhance and expand local community-based adaptive sports programs.
Rounding out the list of new exhibitors will be representatives from the USO, who will share information with care coordinators about their warrior and family care programs, which include efforts in physical health and recreation, mental health, family strengthening and education, employment and community reintegration. New education and employment efforts by the USO include Hire Heroes USA/USO workshops, which focus on resume writing, mock interviews, professional work practices and translating prior military experience into a civilian career, as well as Career Opportunity Days, a non-traditional career fair where employers have the chance to be matched with seven to 10 Service members based on interest and background. Through these programs, the USO aims to help and support recovering Service members and their families throughout the continuum of care, from the battlefield back to their homes and communities.