Wounded Warriors: Helping Them “Stay In The Fight”

February 28, 2007

Due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Military has many service members who have been wounded in the line-of-duty. Members who might not be able to return to active duty, after recuperating from their injuries. What is being done to ensure that these heroes don’t end up on unemployment or on the welfare roles? The US Government recognizes that while these men and women might not be able to return to active duty due to the nature of their injuries, that many still have the drive, the spirit and determination to continue to serve their nation in some capacity.

In the US Government alone, there are several programs available to assist a wounded warrior in returning to the workforce. One such program is the Army Materiel Command’s Always A Soldier program. This program focuses on the fact that the men and women serving in the Nation’s armed forces embody the spirit, drive and commitment to serving our Nation and those qualities don’t go away after a soldier is injured.

The Always A Soldier Program is an Army Materiel Command (AMC) based initiative focused on assisting our nations wounded veterans after their selfless service to our nation and allies. The goal of the program is to provide continuing support to War-fighters beyond their active duty service. AMC is dedicated to assisting our wounded veterans just as they were dedicated to our nation when called to duty. Our Nation’s veterans honored us with their service and AMC takes seriously the sacrifice they have made. By providing jobs for veterans, AMC can clearly benefit by tapping into the valuable experience and commitment that our men and women in uniform embody.

What is inspiring to me and is sure to be to the Wounded Warriors who become involved in this program is the gentleman who is the Program Coordinator, Jonathan Herst. Mr Herst is himself a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he received multiple injuries from an IED attack during a dismounted combat mission in Mosul Iraq in August 2005, which resulted in a below the knee amputation. He was recently medically retired from the Army and has joined the Always A Soldier program as it’s coordinator on June 1, 2006. His ability to overcome his own disabilities and make a valuable contributiion to such a worthwhile project should serve as inspiration for our Wounded Warriors, in what they too can accomplish in their lives.

PROGRAM SUMMARY: The Always a Soldier program provides service-connected disabled veterans opportunities to seek employment, career advancement, job mobility, family economic well being, and greater financial security.
Specific employment tracks:

1. Wage Grade positions involving trades and labor.
2. Internship programs providing monitored or supervised work/training experience with learning goals.
3. Various series GS full performance positions.

To accomplish this goal the Always A Soldier program will partner with existing Army programs (Disabled Soldier Services, Army Community Service) the Veterans Administration, and Disabled American Veterans.

Another program that the Army has to assist wounded soldiers and their families is the Army Wounded Warrior Program. The guiding principal of the Army Wounded Warrior Program is, “I Will Never Leave A Fallen Comarade.” This principal is also one of the ethical principal of the United States Armed Forces. The Wounded Warrior program is in place to assist wounded soldiers in returning to active duty following recuperation from their injuries or transitioning into civilian life.


Our Wounded Warriors and their families are self sufficient, contributing members of our communities; living and espousing the Warrior Ethos knowing our Army and Nation remembers…

The Wounded Warrior Project does everything from advocate for the soldier and his or her family as they deal with the process of healing from their wounds, to either transitioning back into active duty or into civilian life. Their thought is that even though soldier has been injured, he or she still possesses the same strong work ethics that mad them successful soldiers. The Wounded Warrior Program can help to match these wounded warriors with employers who also desire to hire the caliber of men and women that the US Armed Forces produces.

AW2, the Army Wounded Warrior Program, supports Soldiers who have become seriously injured in the service of their country. These Soldiers have the same strong work ethic and desirable personal characteristics that have made Soldiers the focus of many company recruiting campaigns. This web site is designed to meet the needs of both disabled Soldiers who want the chance to work and the employers who want to actively recruit these outstanding men and women.

It’s heartwarming to see our Country and our Armed Forces, taking care of their Wounded Warriors. Ensuring that these Warriors not only receive the best medical care possible, but also that they are assisted in leading productive lives after their medical recouperation. Furthering the Warrior Ethos of not leaving a fallen brother behind.

Along with official government agencies dedicated to ensuring that our Wounded Warriors can “stay in the fight” are numerous civilian agencies and non-profit organizations, who are dedicated to helping our heroes. You can find more information about them at the America Supports You website.


2 Responses to “Wounded Warriors: Helping Them “Stay In The Fight””

  1. Anthony on February 28th, 2007 2:29 pm

    Excellent story Terri. This is the first I’ve heard of the Always a Soldier program. It is truly inspiring.

  2. Terri on February 28th, 2007 3:28 pm

    I think this just goes to show that our Country is ready to put things in place to ensure that our Wounded Warriors are able to rejoin the workforce. When you have these types of programs with the positive attitude that most of our Wounded Warriors have, they’re sure to succeed. I’m hoping that by getting information out in the public more about programs such as these, we won’t have any of our returning troops falling through the cracks.

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