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Wounded Warriors and Caregivers Online Resources

Airmen race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game Staff Sgt. Christian Perryman, 559th Aerospace Medical Squadron public health technician, and Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Vinsant, Air Force Personnel Center chief enlisted manager, race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game in 2015 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. (Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stormy D. Archer)

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There are a lot of places for Wounded Warriors and their caretakers to go online for information or support, including the website you are reading right now. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming or hard to navigate for even the most, well-versed of caregivers.

The Defense Health Agency’s Recovery Coordination Program ensures uniform guidelines and standards for the care of wounded, ill and injured service members throughout the military. The following is a list of resources provided by the program.

National Resource Directory

Jonathan Morris, the DHA’s project manager for the National Resource Directory, says the two websites the NRD uses most for sharing information with the community are NRD.gov and the Warrior Care blog.  

But there’s much more than just those two sites. In addition to the programs listed below, each military service branch has recovery care programs. They are staffed with nearly 800 recovery care coordinators and case managers who are responding to individual queries.

“We respond to them with resources and benefits information no matter where they are, and we do it at the national, state and local levels,” Morris said.

Morris noted that the emails sent via the NRD site and the Warrior Care blog “are answered by real live people,” and that even for those who have transitioned out of the military and may not be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, the NRD folks do their best to help get them find civilian benefits and services.

Morris said his team does its best to respond within 72 hours. “We actually do the homework,” he said. “The only questions we usually ask ... is their military affiliation, if there is one, and their location, so that we can provide them the best responses within their local communities.”

Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program

The Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program consists of several programs, including the NRD, the Education and Employment Initiative, Operation Warfighter, the Military Adaptive Sports Program, Caregiver Support, the Caregiver Resource Directory and the Warrior Care blog.

National Resource Directory

The NRD is a federal government website that provides comprehensive and current information about the services and programs available nationally and in the communities where wounded, ill and injured service members, their families, and their caregivers live and work.

Education and Employment Initiative

The Education and Employment Initiative engages wounded, ill, and injured service members early in their recovery process to identify the skills they’ll need to be successful in finding educational and employment opportunities. This Department of Defense program is available to all branches of the military, the National Guard and reserve components.

Operation Warfighter

OWF places wounded, ill, and injured service members in supportive work settings that help their recovery. The program also helps service members with résumé building and exploring employment interests and job skills for internships.

Military Adaptive Sports Program

Known as MASP, this program provides competitive adaptive sports opportunities and reconditioning activities to all wounded, ill and injured service members to improve their overall quality of life. MASP provides camaraderie and also helps participants in their rehabilitation by improving their self-image, self-esteem, and leadership skills. MASP engages through traditional sports, including the Warrior Games, and cognitive activities designed to augment traditional therapy. 

Military Caregiver Support

The DOD provides resources and information exclusively for military caregivers who provide daily support for wounded, ill and injured service members. Since 2013, the support program has impacted thousands of lives by addressing key issues that include finances, education, employment, transportation, personal relationships, physical health and legal and housing support.

Support to military caregivers includes the 334-page Caregiver Resource Directory, the Military Caregiver PEER Forum Initiative and monthly Military Caregiver Virtual PEER Forums, Military Caregiver Webinars and a list of peer support coordinators, caregiver-related events, and specialized resources.

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And, caregivers can also find a recent health.mil article encouraging them to take care of themselves and avoid burnout.

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