November is Warrior Care Month!

Nov. 4, 2015 | By timpearce
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VIRIN: 151104-N-ZZ098-6325
Warrior Care Month Shines Spotlight on the Achievements of Wounded, Ill and Injured Service Members Many professionals working in the Department of Defense (DoD) make it their year-round mission to ensure exceptional care is provided to wounded, ill and injured service members. However, November is an especially important time for those working in the field of warrior care. In 2008, November was officially designated as Warrior Care Month; a month dedicated to honoring the courage, resilience and accomplishments of wounded, ill, and injured service members, their families, and their caregivers. This year’s Warrior Care Month theme is Show of Strength. “The theme Show of Strength is about recognizing the mental and physical resilience consistently demonstrated by our wounded, ill, and injured service members, as well as acknowledging the critical support provided by families and caregivers,” said James Rodriguez, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy. “Show of Strength also underscores DoD’s ongoing commitment to policy, programs and resources that enable wounded, ill and injured service members to thrive as they embrace a new normal.” Throughout November, DoD and the military services will sponsor events and activities to increase awareness of the significant achievements and milestones that often occur during the recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration or transition process. These events and activities include a sitting volleyball tournament, a wheelchair rugby exhibition, a healing arts recognition event, a Facebook Town Hall and a blog series focused on military caregivers. According to Rodriguez, highlighting adaptive sports—sitting volleyball and wheelchair rugby—demonstrates DoD’s broad focus on identifying and enhancing abilities after a wound, injury or illness occurs. “Adaptive sports and reconditioning activities, such as healing arts which includes painting, ceramics, music therapy and expressive writing therapy, are an essential way of understanding what each wounded, ill and injured service member is able to achieve–focusing on ability rather than disability,” Rodriguez said. Although DoD has seen a steady decrease in the total population of wounded, ill and injured service members since 2007, prompting some questions about the future of warrior care, Rodriguez stated warrior care remains a top DoD priority. “While the case management needs of the wounded, ill and injured population are changing, policy, process and baseline capability will not,” Rodriguez said. “DoD continuously evaluates the needs of the wounded warrior programs to ensure an exceptional level of care is provided to the current and future population of wounded, ill and injured service members.” For more information about Warrior Care Month, visit www.defense.gov/warriorcaremonth