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Patrick 'Wounded Warrior' Program

"Patrick Air Force Base is committed to providing our Wounded Warriors and their families with professional support and follow-up for life ... a life-time commitment to our Wounded Warriors"

"Patrick Air Force Base is committed to providing our Wounded Warriors and their families with professional support and follow-up for life ... a life-time commitment to our Wounded Warriors"

11 Feb. 2011 -- According to the official definition, an Air Force Wounded Warrior "is any Airman with a combat or hostile-related injury or illness requiring long-term care that will require a Medical Evaluation Board or Physical Evaluation Board to determine fitness for duty."

According to Ms. Lillian Cassidy, Chief, Airman & Family Readiness Center, that definition also includes something closer to home.

"Patrick Air Force Base is committed to providing our Wounded Warriors and their families with professional support and follow-up for life ... a life-time commitment to our Wounded Warriors," she said.

Currently, the 45th Space Wing has 26 assigned Air Force and five non-Air Force wounded warriors assigned, residing in Cocoa, Orlando, Satellite Beach, Palm City, Palm Bay, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Melbourne, Fla.

Throughout the country, Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is part of the Warrior/Survivor Care Program consisting of:

· Survivor Assistance Program, executed by the base Family Liaison Officer

· Recovery Care Program, executed by AFPC AFW2 Consultants and regional Recovery Care Coordinators DoD contractor

· AF Wounded Warrior Program, executed by Com-munity Readiness Consultants at Airmen and Family Readiness Centers (A&FRC)
Locally, the 45th Space Wing services also include (not all inclusive):

· Case management while Wounded Warrior transitions from military sponsored care to full VA sponsored care

· Comprehensive assessment of needs to ensure appropriate care and assistance is provided

· Monthly intake assessment and
wellness checks

· Personal advocate ensuring professional medical care is provided

· Pre-separation
briefings and Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops

· Access/partnership with the Florida regional Recovery Care Coordinator DoD contractor, out placed at the 45th Medical Group

· Partnership with American Red Cross to provide special equipment and emergency funds

· Partnership with Harris Corporation, an international communications/information technology company serving government/commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Teamed with Harris Corporation and developed Harris Corporation Wounded Warrior/Spouses Employment Program Initiative for hiring preference.
The bottom line, said Ms. Cassidy, is pretty simple to explain.

"No stone will be left unturned; no new idea not looked at thoroughly, and not one Wounded Warrior in our care will receive anything but the best, most loving care they can receive," she said.

"They've earned the right, and all of us - our entire Wounded Warrior Team - take great pride and honor in providing both them and their families with continued superior service".

"That's our promise and we don't take that lightly," she said.


Important Tips for Supporting
Your Loved One and Your Family

· Acknowledge the injury and its impact. As an involved adult in the life of an injured service member, it is important for you to talk about the injury with those who can provide needed information, support and resources. When you are ready, begin to address the impact of the injury and your future plans.

· Talk about the injury with your wounded warrior when he/she is able and ready. Serious injury creates a sense of loss, frustration, and pain that is often directed at loved ones in the form of anger or withdrawal. Explain that you are there to listen and talk when your wounded warrior is ready. Your touch and voice communicates comfort and caring essential for conversations to begin.

· Encourage your wounded warrior to continue to parent. Staying involved in parenting enhances the morale of the
wounded warrior as well as the entire family. Encourage your wounded warrior to parent through use of the telephone, E-Mail, video chats or a hospital visit, if it can be arranged.

· Utilize professional resources and support to keep your family strong. Injury recovery has a past, a present and a future. While you, your wounded warrior or your children may not be ready to seek help now, remember that WHEN YOU ARE READY there are professionals who can assist you.