A Day in the Life of a WTB Soldier
Story by Maria Gallegos, BAMC Public Affairs
Published September 23, 2015
Rep. Lamar Smith speaks to Warriors Sgt. 1st Class Allen Armstrong, Capt. Kelly Elminger and Staff Sgt. Robert Green during the “Day in the Life of a WTB Soldier” visit at the Center for Intrepid Sept. 4. (U.S. Army photo by Robert T. Shields)
WTB Commander Lt. Col. Michael Harper speaks to Rep. Will Hurd during the Adaptive Reconditioning demonstrations as Staff Sgt. Allen Armstrong (far right), Sgt. 1st Class Samantha Goldensten (far left), WTB Soldier Adaptive and Reconditioning Program noncommissioned officer in charge and Jon Arnold look on. Adaptive sports and athletic reconditioning activities play a vital role in the WTB as it help Soldiers in their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Gallegos)
Brooke Army Medical Center’s Warrior Transition Battalion, in coordination with Warrior Transition Command, hosted a “Day in the Life of a WTB Soldier” at the WTB to better inform the public of all the services provided.
Members of congress and their staff were invited to participate in the event to receive a firsthand look at how the Army cares for and provide services to Soldiers and their Families.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and staffer, Scott Ferguson, were first to participate in the event Sept. 4, followed by Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and staffer and former WTB Soldier, Jon Arnold, who visited Sept. 15.
The day included an overview of the WTB’s mission and purpose, transition and Soldier and Family assistance briefs, WTB barracks tour and Soldier Adaptive and Reconditioning Program overview and demonstrations. Emphasizing the importance of Soldiers care and transition programs for the Army’s wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers.
“This event gave us an opportunity to showcase our facilities and inform the invitees about the battalion’s mission. It also allowed us to highlight our partnerships with Department of Defense and local community organizations that play an important role in assisting our Soldiers and Families during their transition period,” said Maj. Sarah Thompson, S3 WTB staff and project officer for the event.
The WTB’s mission is to ensure every Soldier receives the best care and service during his or her transition either back to duty or to the civilian community. During the visit, WTB Commander Lt. Col. Michael Harper stressed the transition process and the Soldier’s Comprehensive Transition Plan.
“One of the main components to start the transition process is through the Comprehensive Transition Plan. This plan is set by the Soldier, with support of medical professionals, who will determine how they want to move ahead in their transition. It is their personal living plan of action that focuses on their future, he said.
“Once this is established, our team, Triad of Care professionals, will help them work toward that goal,” Harper said. “We look at every aspect of care individually and tailor each transition process to achieve the goals of the Soldier and their Families.”
Following Rep. Smith’s meet and greet with Warriors at the Center for the Intrepid, Smith praised the work being done to help wounded warriors transition into civilian life.
“The one place that we don’t have to worry about is here in San Antonio, the Center for the Intrepid and the Warrior Transition Battalion. They get first class care all the time,” Smith said to the staff and patients. “Thank you for what you do.”
In addition to learning about the WTB’s mission, Rep. Hurd was also introduced to the importance of SARP and how they play a vital role in helping Soldiers in their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
“Getting involved with adaptive reconditioning allows recovering Soldiers to hone different skills, focus and relax,” Thompson said. “It has a big impact on their recovery and their overall well-being.”
They are able to train in various sports such as, cycling, track and field, archery, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming and wheelchair basketball or less stringent activities such as fishing, music and horseback riding,” she said. “Many of them (Soldiers) compete in the Warrior Games, and bring home medals every year – most of them Gold and Silver.”
“You are an inspiration to a lot of people. Keep up the great work. This is pretty awesome,” said Hurd. “You (WTB) don’t practice the common practice, you set the best practice,” he said.
Since January 2007, including the current population, more than 71,000 wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers and their Families received care from the dedicated Warrior Care and Transition Program with over 30,000 (approximately 44 percent) of Soldiers returned to the force.
The Army is currently caring for more than 3,000 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans between WTB and the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) with BAMC WTB having 273 Soldiers assigned to the battalion.
For more information about the BAMC WTB, please login to: http://www.bamc.amedd.army.mil/wtb/