National Disability Employment Month and Wounded Warriors

We open this October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, with one Marines story of a successful transition – Justin Constantine, 2011 Wounded Warrior Project George C Lang Award winner, and 2009 Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans Graduate.

In 2010, Constantine founded Command Media Corporation, a film, video and digital production service. Constantine was also diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in 2010, but did not let that diagnosis stop his career progression. Constantine later accepted a position at the Department of Justice, and remains an officer in the Marine Corps Reserve. Most recently, Constantine started a new position with the FBI working on a counterterrorism team.

[youtube OqpOqutjvD8 nolink]

Today, the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy testifies before the Congressionally mandated Recovering Warrior Task Force – and before Mr. Constantine, who was appointed as a member of the Congressionally mandated Task Force to provide the Secretary of Defense with reccomendations on how to better serve our Nations Wounded Warriors.

We encourage you to learn more about the programs and services the Department of Defense has available to disabled Service members and their families, and pass on information that may be helpful to your friends and family.

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and Labor, eases the reintegration of Service members and their families into the civilian community. TAP connects transitioning Service members and families to resources; such as, career change coaching, employment preparation and job search workshops, academic and skills enhancement opportunities, and specialized support for wounded, ill and injured Service members.

The Career Decision Toolkit, provides 24-hour access to individualized career coaching and transition training to wounded warriors in a hospital environment who cannot attend a TAP class. The Toolkit assists Service members in taking stock of their military skills while cataloging their service experience.

[youtube YRJfop_bxwA nolink]

Operation Warfighter (OWF) connects active duty disabled Service members in supportive federal work settings that positively impact their recuperation. Over 2000 disabled Service members have participated in this program to date.

The National Resource Directory (NRD), a collaboration between WWCTP and the Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs, provides access to thousands of resources available for Service members, veterans and their families. The NRD website employment section provides job services and employment resources, specialized support and information for wounded warriors, and resources for employers and veteran employment service providers.

The Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy encourages Service members, veterans, wounded warriors, their families and employers utilize these resources and to work together. This month, and every month, our “abled” bodied community is empowered to continue their dreams, and to thrive — we are here to help, to learn and improve, and to provide quality services for all wounded warriors and their families.