MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
The Wounded Warrior Regiment celebrated its third anniversary with a cake cutting ceremony here April 15.
The event highlighted the regiment’s successes, current projects and future developments to enhance care for the wounded, ill, injured and their families.
Sergeant Courtney Rauch, a headquarters clerk who was severly wounded in Afghanistan, is one of many success stories where the WWR has played a significant role. Before dedicating his service to the WWR, Rauch was an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
“I was on a routine patrol about halfway through [my] deployment … [we] ran over an [improvised explosive device], ended up losing my left leg, shrapnel wounds to the right leg and a shattered foot,” Rauch said.
Through the WWR, he was able to recover, receive a prosthetic leg, go through physical therapy and is now running again. When Rauch was offered a job at the WWR, he jumped on the opportunity.
“I just wanted to work – give a little back for what they gave back to me,” Rauch said.
The regiment uses its employment programs to help Marines, such as Rauch, make the transition process smoother for everyone, including their families.
“We’re working on a wounded warrior hiring initiative right now, to help our wounded, ill and injured find jobs.” said Col. Gregory Boyle, WWR commanding officer.
Although the regiment does everything possible to ensure a smooth transition to the civilian world, it can still be difficult for Marines getting out, Boyle added.
The Tiger Team, a small group of wounded warriors who visit other veterans, provides assistance to those who have separated from the Corps, demonstrating they are not forgotten.
Retired Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Workman, Navy Cross recipient and former Wounded Warrior now serving as an operations analyst and Tiger Team member at the WWR, explained how the Tiger Team is a group of mobile Marines and civilians whose mission is to ensure every wounded warrior is taken care of in and out of the Corps.
Workman said the Tiger Team reaches out to Marines who might be having a hard time transitioning back into the civilian world due to psychological damage received while serving.
If a Marine is having trouble and there isn’t assistance nearby, the Tiger Team is deployed to come to his aid, Workman said.
“Whatever they’re experiencing out there, whether it’s a physical or psychological health issues, they can get help 24/7,” Boyle said.
For three years, the regiment has focused on providing non-medical care throughout the initial treatment, rehabilitation and transition phases back into the fleet or a civilian environment.
According to Boyle, the Wounded Warrior Regiment continues to set the bar higher each year and has provided care to more than 18,000 Marines and sailors.
“The Marines and their families: They are our target, they are our center mass,” he said.