Friday, May 10, 2013

The rush.

The past 24 hours have been filled with check-in's, paperwork, team meetings, and clothing issue.

Situations military veterans are all too familiar with.

But, there is some icing on the cake.

When we learned of our lunch yesterday at the U.S. Air Force Academy, we were all pretty curious about what was going to go on there and how we were going to get some chow in between training sessions.

I was stuck at the hotel without a ride when my trusty old pal (and former supervisor), Mike, came by to assist me in getting to the lunch.

Bonus about having Mike pick me up ... we went straight to the top level of the chow hall and I had the privilege of being right next to the action as my fellow teammates entered the facility.

It is a pretty amazing rush of energy when a crowd of more than four thousand cadets and Airmen cheer for you and your team. The thoughts of gold medals and winning events rush through my head like something from a movie montage.

The thirst for winning is accompanied by a deeper sense of accomplishment for many of us involved in these games. You see, everyone involved in the Warrior Games is a part of their respective branches wounded warrior program.

In recent days, in response to the ongoing need for continuing care, each branch of the military established their own individual wounded warrior outreach program.

Some are older than others, but all are in existence to provide care to any seriously wounded, ill or injured veteran identified on a casualty report, or recommended by the medical community, as having highly complex medical conditions identified by the medical community.

Also included are veterans who have been referred to the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) for post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and/or other mental health conditions, or who have been retained for more than six months on medical Title 10 orders, or returned to Title 10 orders, for medical conditions related to deployment.

Many support organizations exist on the outside of the Dept. of Defense, but most are non-profit organizations that focus on the overall broad spectrum of military veterans.

This is a wonderful thing in my opinion, and partnered with government sponsored warrior outreach offices, the network of support services available to today's separating veteran far outweighs any in history.

Veterans support networks play an integral part in disseminating VA benefits information, and by combining forces with government outreach offices, medical, educational, and VA home loan information can reach a wider audience.

This should only be viewed as a positive thing.

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