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Ask the Doc: Finding Resources in a New Location

Image of Ask the Doc: Finding Resources in a New Location. Service members, military spouses, and veterans participate in a Warrior Care employment program initiative in Bethesda, Maryland on Oct. 20, 2022. The Department of Defense, Defense Health Agency, Warrior Care - Recovery Coordination Program, and other organizations regularly join forces to provide information on and support with career opportunities for transitioning active-duty service members. (Photo: Roger L. Wollenberg, Department of Defense).

Dear Doc, my spouse is a wounded warrior, and we just moved to a new area. I felt very involved in our old community, but don’t have many connections here.

Can you give me tips to find wounded warrior and caregiver support resources in our new area?

Thank you,

-Wounded Warrior Spouse

Dear Wounded Warrior Spouse: Moving is a major part of military life, and it can be tough to start over in a new location. Many wounded warriors, their family members, and caregivers face the same issue. I found just the person to talk about this: Jonathan Morris, with the Defense Health Agency’s Warrior Care - Recovery Coordination Program. Here's what he said:

"It’s hard to start over after moving to a new area. Wounded warriors, their families, and caregivers are resilient! With the help of the Department of Defense’s military services’ wounded warrior programs, wounded warriors and their families can continue their recovery journey and make connections.

A great way to get involved in your local military wounded community is to connect with some of these programs:

Program coordinators throughout the nation can connect you to your local recovering military communities and to resources that can aid in their recovery, social life, and next steps.

The programs provide non-clinical support to wounded, ill, and injured service members; their families; and caregivers through recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration. Learn more through your spouse’s military service wounded warrior program:

For military caregivers, Military Caregiver Support offers personalized experiences, engagement, resources, and coordinators. They can provide information exclusively for caregivers assisting wounded, ill, and injured service members, and veterans in your region.

A great tool is the electronic Military Caregiver Resource Directory, also known as the eCRD. The National Resource Directory vetted resources on the eCRD provide our military caregivers with reliable and safe resources to avoid additional stress.

The National Resource Directory has thousands of vetted local, state, and federal assistance resources to support the military community with getting assistance with benefits to finding programs that provide free opportunities and more.

Another way to get involved in a new community and have fun is by joining the Military Adaptive Sports program. These programs give wounded warriors competitive athletic and reconditioning opportunities. We encourage families to join. The programs encourage wounded warriors to try new physical and cognitive activities outside of traditional therapy. They also build camaraderie with fellow wounded warriors within the area.

Many wounded warriors and spouses seek out career and education opportunities. The Education and Employment Initiative and Operation Warfighter can help. Recovering service members and their spouses currently enrolled in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System can work with these program coordinators to identify their skill sets and match them with education and career opportunities that will help them transition to civilian life.

If your wounded warrior has serious or catastrophic wounds, illnesses, or injuries, they are eligible for the Recovery Coordination Program. Recovery Care Coordinators work closely with each service member, family member, and their recovery team to develop a comprehensive recovery plan. These plans identify goals and resources to help achieve them. This includes local support, education, employment, or housing.

Coordinators use the plan to guide service members and their families along the road to recovery. This includes rehabilitation and return to duty or reintegration into the civilian community. Service members may self-refer to the program or get a referral from a health care provider, wounded warrior program staff member, or family member.

We hope you can use this information to build connections and feel supported and engaged in your new community. For additional assistance, please email the Warrior Care staff."

***

Wounded Warrior Spouse, it sounds like there many resources to help you settle into your new community with the support you need. Take advantage of these programs to get connected to your community!

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