Memorial Day Message from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy James Rodiguez

On the Memorial Day holiday, we recognize and honor the heroic men and women dedicated to serving our great nation, remembering in particular, those who gave their lives to protect American freedoms. It’s also a time to reflect on how the Department of Defense (DoD) can best support the wounded, ill, and injured service members of today, and tomorrow.

Providing comprehensive care to our wounded, ill, and injured service members remains a national priority, because we don’t want to increase the numbers we mourn and instead want to see our wounded, ill, and injured heal and flourish.  The Office of Warrior Care Policy is passionate about evaluating and enhancing warrior care policies and programs to best accommodate the evolving needs of the populations they are designed to serve.

Photo of someone holding a flag

I recently joined more than 350 representatives from across DoD, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the non-profit arena to discuss the changing nature of warrior care and adapting for the future through innovative medical and non-medical support at the United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition conference in Tampa, FL. These meaningful discussions are a clear demonstration of the collaboration needed to accomplish our future goals.

Warrior care policies and programs must be adaptable and flexible to meet the requirements for a new, steady state environment, as well as be responsive to rapid changes as a result of operational demands. It’s imperative that we optimize resources across DoD to enhance existing programs, all while anticipating capabilities and capacities required to meet imminent and long-term needs.

As DoD considers the future of warrior care, we will not lose sight of those who have given, and will give, their lives to serve our country nor will we lose sight of the families, caregivers, and support systems that stand alongside our men in women in uniform every step of the way. On Memorial Day, we express our gratitude and salute your service.

–  James Rodriguez, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy (WCP)