SUPPORT PROGRAMS STEP UP TO HELP WOUNDED WARRIORS, THEIR FAMILIES

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SUPPORT PROGRAMS STEP UP TO HELP WOUNDED WARRIORS, THEIR FAMILIES Powered By Docstoc
					                                                           support programs step
                                                           up to help wounded
                                                           warriors, their families

A
          irmen injured on the battlefield                      nician from the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron                      off completely, Chief Page was onboard,”
          can rest a little easier thanks to im-                at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., the increased                      Annette said. “He said, ‘You’re in Air Force
          provements with warrior care.                         emphasis on needed wounded-warrior care                           country now — I’ve got you.’
   Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff                        couldn’t have come at a better time.                                  “When I met Chief Page, it was the first
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen stood up the Joint                            While protecting convoy routes in Iraq, an                    time I really thought everything would be
Staff Wounded Warrior Integration Team to                       improvised explosive device exploded about                        okay,” she said.
look at the broad range of care and services                    two feet from his face.                                               One of the many people who stepped up
for wounded warriors to find gaps and tap                           Soon after the attack, his wife, Annette, trav-               to help the Slaydons was Steve Mayfield,
into the best practices of the forces.                          eled to Walter Reed Medical Center in Wash-                       with the Randolph AFB Airman and Fam-
   Oversight for the Air Force program is led                   ington, D.C. Staff Sgt. Ryan Winger, a family                     ily Readiness Flight. He arranged for the
by Arthur Myers, Director of Air Force Servic-                  liaison officer from Sergeant Slaydon’s EOD                       Air Force Aid Society to fund the Slaydons’
es, who serves as the single focal point for                    shop at Luke AFB, accompanied her to see her                      house payments for a couple of months.
the Survivor Assistance Program. His efforts                    husband for the first time in five months.                            “It was hard to ask for help,” Annette said.
have ensured each of our warriors and their                         “It was very rough emotionally,” Annette said.                “We’re very self-sufficient and good with our
family’s needs are being met by assigning a                     “There was no way I could’ve handled all of the                   money. It can be hard to get over your pride
trained individual to assist them and to serve                  details without Sergeant Winger’s help.”                          to ‘stoop’ and ask for financial assistance,
as a link to various agencies and institutions.                     While Sergeant Slaydon was in and out of                      but Mr. Mayfield explained the aid was a
   Mr. Myers’ main tool in this program is                      consciousness for the first three weeks after                     benefit my husband earned through his ser-
the family liaison officer, who is the “gate-                   the attack, a combination of people and re-                       vice – even before he was wounded. That
keeper” and involved with everything from                       sources were at Annette’s service.                                made me feel better about it.”
cutting grass, to fixing cars, to taking chil-                      A team of Air Force members has “made it                          Over the last year or so, Veterans Affairs
dren to daycare or even ensuring families of                    possible for me to spend most of my time with                     and the Department of Defense have made
wounded warriors have enough money to                           my husband, instead of dealing with distrac-                      significant progress to ensure veterans from
make ends meet.                                                 tions,” Annette said.                                             all branches get a square deal, said Secre-
   “They literally will take off of their normal                    When the couple headed to the Brooke                          tary of Defense Robert Gates.
duty to be there for our warriors from the                      Army Medical Center in San Antonio, they met   
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Mr. Myers' main tool in this program is the family liaison officer, who is the "gatekeeper" and involved with everything from cutting grass, to fixing cars, to taking children to daycare or even ensuring families of wounded warriors have enough money to make ends meet. Airman and Family Readiness Centers around the world will ensure details such as continued health care, transition counseling, job opportunities, financial counseling, Air Force Aid assistance, VA benefits, Social Security and retirement counseling are provided.
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