The Wounded Warrior Program provides care and advocacy for Airmen> Air Force> Item Display
Among those posted, more than 52,000 U.S. soldiers have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, and an additional 500,000 are living with invisible wounds ranging from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, including 320,000 with brain trauma, the report said Wounded Warrior Project.
For aviators who may be among those who have physical or invisible wounds, The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, or AFW2, is available to provide care and support. What is AFW2?
AFW2 is a “Congressional and federally funded organization charged with caring for wounded, sick, and injured Airmen, guards, veterans, and their families of the US Air Force,” according to AFW2’s Return to Duty, Separation website or retirement The aim is to keep the program participants well-equipped to cope with challenges regardless of injury or illness.
AFW2 works together with the Air Force Survival Program, Aviation and family standby centers and the Air Force Medical Service focused non-medical care and assistance to wounded, sick, and injured Airmen, guards (and their families) during their recovery and return to service or civilian life. The Air Force defines a wounded warrior as âany airman who is seriously wounded, sick, or injured, and possibly one Medical Evaluation Board / Physical Evaluation Board to determine the ability to serve. “
“The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is here to help even if your incident results in your permanent retirement,” said Selina Lyle, AFW2 recovery coordinator. âWe will provide you with information, resources, and personal assistance as needed. Do not hesitate to call us for answers to questions or to resolve any problems you may encounter. We’re here to give you the care you deserve. “
More than 8,400 wounded warriors, their families or caregivers are supported by the AFW2 program, Lyle said. The number continues to grow as more wounded warriors are enrolled, and she said the program is seeking help in identifying those who might qualify for the program.
Lyle said Airmen and Guardians who qualify for the AFW2 program include those who are or were seriously ill or injured, very seriously ill or injured, and those with highly complex medical conditions; Service members who have been diagnosed with, or have been diagnosed with, duty-related or on-duty PTSD, TBI, or military sexual trauma who have been referred or are likely to be referred through the Medical Evaluation Board procedure; Purple Heart Recipient; or Air Reserve Component members detained for more than six months due to medical orders under Title 10, or Airmen and Guardians postponed due to mission-related conditions under Title 10.
Anyone can instruct an airman on the AFW2 program by visiting the AFW2 website, clicking the Refer and Airman or Guardian icon and filling out the box form and submitted via the AFW2 website.
A critical aspect of the AFW2 program is the wellness and resilience program.
“The Warrior Care Division at AFPC is tasked with providing non-medical care management and personalized support to wounded Air Force warriors,” said Col. Richard L. Obert, AFW2 director. âThe Wellness and Resilience team is working with all programs within AFW2 to strengthen the mental, social, spiritual and physical areas of the comprehensive aviator fitness model for our warriors and their caregivers participating in our program. “
“We do this through both virtual and in-person CARE events and classes, connecting through social media platforms, and providing personalized support to those at high risk and struggling to maintain resilience,” he said . âWe are always on the lookout for new ideas that we can incorporate into the courses we offer. We know that wellness and resilience take many different forms. “
Obert said some of the courses offered to warriors, caregivers, and staff include, but are not limited to: ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Training), SafeTALK (Suicide Warning For All), Mental Health First Aid (understanding how to helping those who struggle with mental health problems), MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Personality Inventory), Journal to the Self (14 different journaling techniques), Improv (resilience through comedy), Rock 2 Recovery (writing and creating music), Photography (learning to look at your world through a lens), yoga (focus on harmony between mind and body), meditation (awareness and a healthy perspective on life), mindfulness (focus on the presence in the here and now), origami (the art of folding paper), art (everything from painting to bookbinding), art journaling (expression through the combination of art and the written word), My Intent (connection through Selbstr eflexion and meaningful conversations), Tai Chi (gentle exercises to keep your body in constant motion), Com-Motion Dance (dance movement for all abilities), Zentangle (an art form to improve relaxation and concentration) and goal setting (your journey to recovery sketch).
“The quality of care for wounded warriors remains a priority for the Air Force leadership,” Obert said. “The Air Force honors and honors the victims of wounded Airmen, guards, their families and / or caregivers by providing the best medical and non-medical professional assistance throughout their recovery process.”
To contact AFW2, send an email to [email protected] or call 800-581-9437.
Other helpful resources are:
Aviation and family standby centers – This on-site resource ensures Airmen and their families are connected to effective relief services on and off the base.
Military crisis hotline – Access instant, confidential crisis support 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
Military OneSource – This comprehensive DOD resource provides health and wellness resources and confidential assistance, including liaising with specialist peer support groups and military and family counseling. www.militaryonesource.mil
Military treatment facility – These on-site facilities provide direct health and wellness care to Airmen, Air Force retirees, and their families.
Cape services – Pastors offer confidential care and advice, an open ear, guidance and religious support. www.chaplaincorps.af.mil