Skip to main content

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

OWF Program assists Wounded Warrior obtain FBI internship

Image of Photo of woman wearing glasses in a white blouse. Ssgt. Amy Eileen Arenas received her dream internship through DoD Warrior Care Program Operation Warfighter. (Courtesy Photo)

In early 2017, Air Force Staff Sgt. Amy Arenas, as a geospatial intelligence analyst, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

“For one year I was put on several medications to include a constant medical steroid to attempt to put my body into remission, but ultimately the disease won. It overtook my entire large intestine. Over the past two years, I underwent seven surgeries two of which were life-threatening. I had my entire large intestine removed and now I am living with an ileostomy bag for the rest of my life.”

“Due to the severity and complications of the disease, the Air Force saw me as non-deployable which sent me through the medical board process. Now, I am back to living life as if I never experienced this disease at all aside from having a permanent device on my body.”

Despite Arenas’ diagnosis, she was able to intern for the Federal Bureau of Investigation from October 2019 to July 2020.  With her military background and security clearance, she landed a position within the Agency’s Counter Terrorism Unit, where she assisted the Intelligence Analysts on products and research. She found this opportunity through the Department of Defense’s Operation Warfighter Program (OWF).

OWF is an internship program through the DOD’s Warrior Care Program that matches qualified wounded, ill and injured Service members with non-funded federal internships to gain valuable work experience during their recovery and rehabilitation.

“Initially, I was unaware that programs were out there to assist those who were facing the possibility of getting separated due to medical issues,” Arenas said. “After about two years of being in the medical board process, my new leadership put me in contact with Cisco Johnson from the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program. At this point, I knew I was going to be medically discharged. However, the date was to be determined. I had received my Master of Criminal Justice degree the year before, and I knew that I wanted to utilize it when I got out of the military. Cisco learned of my dreams and aspirations and put me in contact with OWF Regional Coordinator Sandra Ambotaite immediately.”

An OWF Regional Coordinator assists in identifying an internship opportunity based on the candidates interests and capabilities. Once a placement is agreed upon, the OWF Regional Coordinator follows-up with the wounded, ill, or injured Service member and the agency to obtain necessary security clearances, workplace accommodations and transportation assistance.

“Meeting Sandra was such a blessing,” explained Arenas. She listened to my experiences and future goals and gave me all the advice and encouragement that I needed. She explained Operation Warfighter and the benefits that I could gain from this program.”

“Soon enough I was set up, with the help of the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, to tour the FBI office in Honolulu, Hawaii,” added Arenas.” After the tour and the brief of what an internship would entail, I was sure that this was what I wanted to do. “It was a dream of mine that I never felt was possible of achieving, but with Sandra’s help it was in arms' reach.”

“After successful completion of my interview, I was informed that I got the internship position with the FBI office in Honolulu. When Sandra informed me that I was accepted, I was in amazement that this was happening during a time where I was so unsure of where my life was heading as far as my career goes,” continued the airman.

I was placed with the Counter Terrorism Unit During my internship, I attended meetings, learned about what goes on behind the scenes of investigative work and talked with agents to learn about what their days entail.

“I can honestly say that I am beyond humbled to have gotten the chance to experience this internship. I am so thankful for the Operation Warfighter and the FBI Honolulu office for allowing me to be part of their team. While interning, I decided to apply for both Special Agent and Intelligence Analyst positions. I felt at home working with the bureau and it’s just an experience I would love to continue as my next career,” concluded Arenas.”

Although Arenas is no longer active duty, she is currently undergoing the hiring process for the FBI’s Special Agent and Intelligence Analyst position.

To learn more about Operation Warfighter, visit Warrior Care.

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
Jan 11, 2024

How the U.S. Army Outfits Wounded Soldiers for Life After Recovery

Adaptive sports equipment, such as wheelchairs for rugby and basketball, are just a portion of the supply chain that soldiers in recovery use to thrive into their future as they overcome a wound, injury, or illness. (Photo by Mary Therese Griffin/Army Recovery Care Program)

There are many moving parts to the Army Recovery Care Program, not the least of which is adaptive reconditioning. This includes equipment and logistics for soldiers who want to recover and overcome their wounds, injury, or illness. “Part of our job is to help coaches, logistics folks, etc., work together to ensure our units and soldiers have the best ...

Article Around MHS
Dec 8, 2023

Are You Injury Prone?

Injuries are usually preventable in some way – they are rarely completely unavoidable accidents.  (graphic: Defense Public Health)

Do you know how many injuries you have had? Are there actions you can take to reduce your injury risk? Learn how to asses your injury susceptibility and the changes to reduce your injury risk and improve your physical performance.

Article Around MHS
Dec 4, 2023

Fort Campbell Soldiers' Innovation Helps Extremities Rehab for Injured Service Members

Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Readiness Command, East, and Director, Defense Health Network East U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Lance Raney tests a simulated M-4 rifle charging handle that attaches to a strength-training machine to simulate real-life tasks for soldiers recovering from traumatic hand and upper extremity injuries. (Photo by Maria Christina Yager/Blanchfield Army Community Hospital)

A simulated M-4 rifle charging handle fashioned by an occupational therapy team at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and refined by Fort Campbell’s EagleWerx Applied Tactical Innovation Center may gain broader use in other military hospitals and clinics after a senior Defense Health Agency official saw it demonstrated.

Article Around MHS
Nov 29, 2023

Green Beret Teams Up with the US Southern Command Warrior Care Program Care Coalition Competes in Department of Defenses Warrior Games Challenge and International Invictus Games

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jacob “Jake” Anthony competing in the 2023 Invictus Games held in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Courtesy photo)

Green Beret U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jacob "Jake” Anthony was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 on a mission to find a target. His team was breaching a door that turned out to be booby-trapped, resulting in an explosion that killed his teammate in front of him. Anthony would take shrapnel to the right frontal lobe to his brain and had to be initially ...

Article Around MHS
Nov 13, 2023

We May be Wounded Warriors, But We Can Still Serve

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt Michael Johnson reflects on his time at Yale University through the Warrior Scholarship Program in June 2023. (Photo courtesy Michael Johnson)

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt Michael Johnson reflects on his time at the Fort Belvoir Soldier Recovery Unit. “I was at the Fort Belvoir SRU after hurting my leg on deployment in Poland. I had perpetual headaches while recuperating, which led to imaging that showed I had lesions on my brain and, ultimately, the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.”

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

Forward Care for the Warfighter: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Talks Battlefield Countermeasures at MHSRS

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command perform a battlefield care scenario during the MRDC 2023 Best Squad Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, on April 11, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

With time spent on the battlefield being an increasing reality, products to help deliver immediate prolonged care to the Warfighter are now more important than ever. A concept known well by Maj. Zachary Booms, an emergency medicine physician at the Combat Casualty Care Research Team at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Institute ...

Article Around MHS
Apr 27, 2023

In the Army Recovery Care Program, You Have One Job

U.S. Army Cpt. Veronica, Jones shoots the ball during the U.S. Army Adaptive Sports Camp at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on April 1. Over 70 wounded, ill and injured soldiers are training in a series of athletic events including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, powerlifting, track, field, rowing, and wheelchair basketball. This year, the Warrior Games Challenge takes place in June 2023 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California. (Photo by U.S. Army Pvt. Theron Smith)

In the Army Recovery Care Program, soldiers have one job…to get better. The adaptive sports camp celebrates wounded, ill, and injured soldiers' ability to recover and overcome. The U.S. Army holds qualifying trials for active duty, wounded, ill, or injured soldiers to assess and select athletes for competition in the Warrior Games Challenge.

Article Around MHS
Feb 21, 2023

How One Officer is Chasing Her Dreams

U.S. Navy Lt. Tia Blythe

Her civilian physical therapy job wasn't enough. That's when Tia Laine Blythe decided to take her specialized skills to the military. Follow along with now U.S. Navy Lt. Tia Laine Blythe's military career path that has led to numerous awards, distinctions, and a whole new level of professional satisfaction.

Article Around MHS
Jan 17, 2023

There's No Excuse to Not Be Living Your Full Potential

Military personnel healing in hospital bed

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Armando Mejia was severely injured due to an explosion and firefight in Mosul, Iraq, in 2004. Staying in a medical hold while recovering, Mejia was eventually one of the first to experience the Army Recovery Care Program when it was stood up as Warrior Care and Transition.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery