Copperas Cove: Warriors Transition From Medical Ailments To Fun Activities

By: Kristin Gordon Email
By: Kristin Gordon Email

COPPERAS COVE (July 26, 2013) -- The Warrior Transition Unit was formed for soldier who are wounded, ill, and injured at home and in battle. WTUs provide personal support to wounded Soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management.

Over 400 wounded soldiers are in the WTU at Fort Hood. Thanks to grants provided by the Wounded Warrior Project, the Red Cross at Fort Hood has been able to provide fun events throughout the year for soldiers and their families.

Some events included an Easter egg hunt, Christmas party and a day at the Lion's Club Water Park. On Friday, soldiers, their families and medical providers got another special day at Camp Triumph in Copperas Cove.

"When we teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project, they gave us grants that helped us provide fun events like this family day," said Laura Read, Red Cross Fort Hood.

"We do things with them so we can get them out of the house. " We want to get them away from what they are doing every day because being a wounded soldier, you go to a lot of doctor's appointments and things like that and this is a day that they can just get out and enjoy themselves."

The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001.

According to their website, WWP "takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP hopes to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history."

Soldiers and their medical providers faced off in an assortment of competitions like water volleyball, football and wheelchair basketball. Those without a wheelchair got to try one out during basketball to see how difficult it can be to play without using legs.

A Commander's Cup trophy was given to the winners at the end of the day. The warriors were also treated to a fish fry with all the trimmings.

"It really gives us a chance to give back to these soldiers and their families," said Read. "I am a military spouse myself so it's really important to me to give back to these wounded soldiers. Cause, you know, they have given up a lot for us and our freedoms and this gives us a chance to give back for them."

When the Red Cross isn't hosting fun activities for soldiers, they are manning a call center on post. When an emergency message comes in regarding a wounded soldier overseas, the Red Cross volunteers go into action. "We get the verification, get it to the unit, and then get it to the families," said Read.

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