03 June 2008

Serving Severely Wounded Soldiers

NAPSI-This year, the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is marking four years of committed service to severely wounded, injured and ill soldiers and their families. The program assists and advocates for the most severely wounded soldiers by providing individualized support, throughout their lifetimes, wherever they are located. AW2 is the only Army program that supports severely wounded soldiers from the time of injury for as long as they have a need.

Every AW2 soldier is assigned one of the 80 AW2 Advocates, located throughout the country. AW2 Advocates help soldiers and families in a variety of ways, including working with them to obtain full benefits, educational opportunities, and financial and career counseling, as well as helping those who want to stay in the Army to continue their service.

“AW2 is the only constant we have. The only constant we can count on,” said Nelida Bagley, the mother of an AW2 soldier who suffers from a severe open-brain injury. “Our AW2 Advocate was there during the first 14-hour surgery, was there with resources, was there with a hug, was there with answers.”

Originally known as the Disabled Soldier Support System, the program was established on April 30, 2004, as the Army responded to the needs of the most severely wounded, injured or ill soldiers from the Global War on Terrorism. The name of the program was changed in 2005, to the Army Wounded Warrior Program. Currently, there are more than 2,700 soldiers in the program.

“The Army is fully committed to the care and support of its soldiers and families,” said Colonel Jim Rice, director of the Army Wounded Warrior Program. “These soldiers have given their best to our country and now it’s time for us to give back to them and their loved ones. AW2 will be with them for as long as it takes.”

For more information on the Army Wounded Warrior Program, call (800) 237-1336 or visit the Web site at www.aw2.army.mil.

Wounded soldiers and their families receive personalized care throughout their recovery and beyond, for as long as they have a need.

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