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November focusing on our wounded

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COMMAND MESSAGE

By The Staff

By MAJ. GEN. DON CAMPBELL

Fort Knox Commander

The Department of Defense has declared November as Warrior Care Month, with the goal of increasing awareness of programs and resources available to wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, their families, and those who care about them.

I am proud that we are doing so much at Fort Knox toward this important mission with the assistance of our medical team, the garrison team, and strong leadership.

The Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion is a great place to heal. Away from the rigors of combat, the Soldiers in this battalion are offered an opportunity to receive superb care at Ireland Army Community Hospital and the medical partners off post. They are prepared for their next stage with patience, understanding, and incredible compassion.

Some of our Soldiers in the WTB move back to the civilian sector and jobs they may have left before they were activated. Some return to active duty with renewed dedication and desire to serve.

We are proud of all of them.

If you haven’t seen the great renovation and construction work done at our WTB facilities, I suggest you stop by this month and visit them. Commanded by Lt. Col. Gary Travis, the buildings have been made to look new, and accessibility was taken into account with every inch. This is the military—and our engineers—taking care of our own, and it makes me proud.

Now, as a side note, watch your speed as you drive past these barracks. Soldiers who may have limited mobility deserve our consideration, and it was my directive that we slow down the traffic on Knox Street to keep these Soldiers safe.

In the past seven years the Army has made great strides taking care of wounded Soldiers and families. Yes, we’ve had some challenges along the way—things we could have done better. But we continue to learn from our mistakes and strive for the best possible ways to meet their needs.

Today, wounded Soldiers are eligible for a wide array of benefits in order to help them recover physically, prepare financially, and build their skills for a rewarding career. Advocates ensure that wounded warriors and their families are connected with these benefits and services, which span:

* Career and education;

* Finance;

* Health care;

* Human resources;

* Insurance;

* Retirement and transition; and

* Services for families.

Care for our Soldiers includes programs such as the Army Family Covenant and the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, which help families with the challenging job of helping their Soldier recover and reintegrate.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently implemented a program to streamline the transition between Depart-ment of Defense and Veterans Admin-istration. The VA is implementing new approaches to the treatment of Psychological Health like the challenges of Traumatic Brain Injury and future programs such as improved service quality and consistency to the families of wounded and fallen Soldiers.

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s also a commitment by the Department of Defense to consistent and quality care throughout the three phases of care—Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reintegration.

Please take the time this month to thank our wounded Soldiers for their service—those in the WTB and those already integrated into our force on post. Their bravery, sacrifice, and patience are examples for many of us.

Also, take the time to thank our outstanding medical professionals who make healing these Soldiers their top priority.

Col. Rhonda Earls and her staff at Ireland provide the care for our Soldiers, families, and retirees with tireless dedication. We couldn’t do it without them.

Soldiering is hard business. It takes its toll on all of us, physically. Thank goodness our wounded are offered a chance to recover and heal in the best Warrior Transition Battalion in the Army.

Forge the Thunderbolt!

Want to respond to this column or suggest a topic? E-mail knox.commanderforum@conus.army.mil.