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Deputy Commandant for Information

Headquarters Marine Corps

Warrior Care Month: Highlighting a vital outreach capability

By Jacqueline Connor and Capt. Jill Wolf | | November 29, 2011

November is Warrior Care Month, a time to increase awareness of wounded warrior programs and the services available to wounded, ill and injured (WII) Navy and Marine Corps service members.  The Wounded Warrior Regiment is the Marine Corps command that provides non-medical care to WII Marines and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life.

One of the ways the Regiment provides support is through their 24/7 call center.  The Sergeant Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center assists WII Marines, Marine veterans and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units, and their families with a variety of needs.  From obtaining benefits and referrals, to providing information on employment opportunities and a multitude of other resources, the support from the WWR is available day and night to Marines and their families, wherever they are.

“Working with the WWR gives me great satisfaction knowing that the call center staff and I are doing our part to support WII Marines though all phases of their recovery.   We provide Marines and families support on a wide variety of topics.  Information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, veteran service organizations and employment assistance are just a few,” said Armando Rodriguez, the call center manager.   

The trained call center staff includes retired Marines and Marine veterans or family members of Marines augmented by a small staff of psychological health professionals. These dedicated individuals are skilled at providing help and share a common bond with those they serve.

“Being a veteran Marine myself and knowing the many challenges that Marines face after combat, makes my work at the call center very special.  During Warrior Care Month, it’s a wonderful thing when we can look at the tremendous lives of our Marines and highlight the resources that are available to support them and their families,” said Rodriguez.

In addition to receiving calls from WII Marines and their caregivers, the call center conducts outreach calls.  Outreach calls offer assistance on a wide variety of issues, such as service disability ratings, medical care, employment, counseling, and benevolent organizations.  At a WII Marine’s request, the call center will text information to their mobile phone. 

The call center, in conjunction with the public affairs office, uses social media to connect with WII Marines, distribute information about services that support recovery, and pass news related to the WWR and recovering Marines.  The Regiment’s social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.  The WWR Facebook page is interactive and allows for direct messaging and requests for support as well as information sharing.  Fans can simply click on the “Support” link to submit a confidential request for assistance from the call center.

In addition, the WWR is in the final stages of developing a mobile application for use on smartphones and iPads.
“The average age is 28 for those we help,” said Rodriguez.  “These folks spend a lot of time online and generally prefer to get their information that way.  By using social media channels and new technology, we can reach them where they are.” 

The call center and its constant effort to assist Marines is only one example of what the WWR does to ensure the Marine Corps will continue to honor its commitment to keep faith with those Marines who have sacrificed so much. 

To request assistance from the call center or to learn more about the Wounded Warrior Regiment, call (877) 487-6299 or click “Support” on the WWR Facebook page to submit a request.

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