Warrior Care Month: A Decade of Progress and Evolution

This November, the Department of Defense celebrates the 10th anniversary of Warrior Care Month, reflecting upon a decade of progress made across the spectrum of warrior care and support – recovery, rehabilitation back to duty or transition to the community – and renewing our Nation’s commitment to deliver exceptional care to current and future wounded, ill, and injured Service members, their families, and caregivers.

In November 2008, Robert Gates, then secretary of defense, established November as Warrior Care Month to initiate a “DoD-wide effort aimed at increasing awareness of programs and resources available to wounded, ill, and injured service members, their families, and those who care about them.”  Today, DoD reaffirms its commitment that there is no higher priority for the Department of Defense than caring for the wounded, ill, and injured service members who have sacrificed so much.

During this 10th year Warrior Care Month celebration, we are reminded of the perseverance Service members show through the observance theme “Show of Strength.” The strength is apparent in the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, familial, and career-readiness activities that service members and their families and caregivers engage in to overcome challenges. That strength also is evident in the commitment the Department of Defense and its partners reaffirm daily, to provide our service members, their families, and caregivers with the care and support they seek and deserve.

“Many professionals working in the DoD make it their year-round mission to ensure exceptional care is provided to wounded, ill and injured Service members,” said Tom McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

DoD continuously evaluates the needs of the warrior care programs to ensure an exceptional level of care is provided to the current and future population of wounded, ill and injured service members, their families, and caregivers.  Force reductions, decreased operational deployments and evolving service member demographics have changed the nature of warrior care, but policy, process and baseline capability must still address the diverse needs of service members and caregivers.

“This November in particular, I ask you to become more informed about and share warrior care resources,” encouraged McCaffery. “Explore new ways to exhibit your own strength by helping our wounded, ill, and injured service members, families, and caregivers realize their own potential and do your part to inspire year-round discourse and action to support warrior care priorities.”

For more information on Warrior Care Month, visit www.warriorcare.dod.mil