Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has designated November 2008 as Warrior Care Month to raise awareness of resources and programs available for wounded service members and their families.
"We need to make it easier for our troops and their families to benefit from all of the assistance now available to them," Gates said. "This month, let us rededicate ourselves to helping those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf."
In his 2006 planning guidance, Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, outlined specific goals to care for wounded Marines and sailors, serving with Marine Corps Units, and their families.
"Just as every Marine makes a commitment to the Corps when they earn the title Marine, the Corps makes an enduring commitment to every Marine, and an enduring commitment to their family," said Conway in his 2006 Planning Guidance.
Conway's idea came to fruition in April 2007 with the launching of the Wounded Warrior Regiment. Headquartered in Quantico, Va., and with battalions on the East and West Coasts, the regiment provides and facilitates assistance throughout the recovery phases for wounded Marines.
According to a Warrior Care Month fact sheet, since the launch of the Wounded Warrior Regiment almost 18 months ago, the regiment has stood up a call center to receive calls from active duty and former wounded Marines along with their family members. Other highlights include standing up a Wounded Warrior Operations Center to monitor day-to-day procedures that ensure progress is being made in individual cases. Establishing a charitable organization cell and the establishment of a job transition cell have helped make considerable gains for the regiment.
The regiment's commanding officer, Col. Gregory A. Boyle, said "Through the Marine Corps' caring and concerned leadership, we will keep faith with our wounded, ill and injured Marines and their families. We will ensure awareness of their needs and provide the necessary mechanisms to address those needs."
Gates added, "Caring for these men and woman is the highest priority of this department."
During Warrior Care Month, a service day will be held Nov. 14 where media will be permitted to come, view and ask questions about the Wounded Warrior Regiment. Rear Adm. Karen Flaherty, director, Bureau of Medicine, will be attending the event, which will be held at the regiment’s operations center on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and start at 9 a.m. Every service will be recognizing Warrior Care Month.
For assistance, information and referral services, please contact the Wounded Warrior Regiment Call Center at (877) 487-6299 or visit the Wounded Warrior Regiment Web site at www.woundedwarriorregiment.org.