Severely Wounded Veterans Encourage Plans to Expand Program Helping Them Find Careers after Combat.
Veterans, Councilors and Army Officials meet to share stories and ideas as program looks to expand into 9 additional states.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., June 7, 2010 — U.S. Army veterans severely wounded in recent combat are gathering in Fayetteville, N.C. to discuss their experiences with the Army Wounded Warrior Careers Program.
This unique pilot program is helping young, severely wounded veterans find a career after this service to our nation.
Advances in battlefield medicine are saving the lives of more wounded soldiers than ever before. These young men and women have decades of life to live, yet must somehow find a way to continue that life with a disability.
The National Organization on Disability has been asked by the United States Army to develop a program aimed at helping wounded warriors find careers back at home. The Wounded Warrior Careers Program has been helping transition severely wounded soldiers into civilian careers.
Currently operating as a pilot at 3 sites (Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina) the NOD hopes to expand the program to nearly 10 more.
Currently, hundreds of wounded veterans are being helped to identify and begin new careers, including SPC (R) James Davis. He was severely injured when his vehicle was hit during a suicide bomber attack in Taji, Iraq. Along with a Traumatic Brain Injury, Davis suffered severe disfigurement of his leg and face, hearing loss, and severe nerve damage. He is also, like many vets, dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
With such severe disabilities, 32 year old Davis was medically discharged from the Army, leaving him wary of what the future would be like.
"Being able to support my wife and three small children was a serious concern when I was discharged with injuries from my service in Iraq. I’ve always been a hard worker and wanted to continue to have the opportunity to progress in a successful career," said SPC (R) Davis. "The National Organization on Disability’s Wounded Warrior Careers program has helped me search for employment, identify a career path and begin to prepare for the education it will take to get me there. Doors are opening that, due to my injuries, once seemed closed to me."
It’s success stories like James Davis and dozens of others that are inspiring the National Organization on Disability to push for additional funding that would offer the program to more of America’s wounded warriors.
"We are very proud of the work that our Career Specialists are doing for these American heroes," said Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability. "With approximately two-thirds of working-age people with disabilities unemployed, we can’t stress enough the importance of supporting our wounded veterans as many transition into the civilian workforce. These soldiers have given so much; we need to be there for them as long as it takes."