MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va., (Nov 30, 2011) --
The path to success is not always straightforward. However, Marines across the nation are proving that their goals can be accomplished regardless of their wounds, illnesses or injuries. With assistance from the Wounded Warrior Regiment’s transition cell, wounded, ill and injured Marines have identified education and job training resources that have landed them jobs at Department of Defense agencies, other federal agencies and private sector corporations.
“The Regiment’s Recovery Care Coordinators assist Marines with developing a comprehensive recovery plan,” said Major Brian Bilski, Wounded Warrior Regiment transition cell officer in charge. “The CTP outlines the Marines needs and prepares each individual with a training plan to support their transition process. This is a vital step required for the transition cell to effectively assist Marines.”
Marine veteran Lance Cpl. Ovais Khalil is one of the many Marines who the Regiment’s transition cell has assisted with obtaining a rewarding career. Five years ago, Khalil was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease known as guillain-barré syndrome. “According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “guillain-barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system damages part of the nerve cells. Approximately one to two people out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed with guillain-barré syndrome a year.”
Physicians determined that Khalil was in stage three of this disease. His initial thoughts once he heard the diagnosis was, “What is this disease? Was I going to get better and would I be able to walk again,” said Khalil.
For six months, he was completely paralyzed and remained bed ridden for four additional months after. Some side effects included nerve damage, difficulty breathing and residual weakness. However, Khalil was confident because he knew that the Corps that he joined on July 30, 2007 would be there to look after of him. “I love the Marine Corps; they have helped me throughout my recovery, financially and mentally.”
Although Khalil’s dreams of becoming a Marine Corps officer are no longer possible, he has set his sights on new goals to accomplish. This year, he was placed in an internship through the transition cell as a linguist, with the National Security Administration. On July 30, 2011 he retired from the Corps and his internship with NSA ultimately landed him a full time position with Nangwik Services as a language specialist. According to the Nangwik website, “the company provides services in the areas of intelligence, information technology, logistics, linguists and other specialized training.”
“When we saw this position we knew that Khalil was the right person because he had experience speaking another language and the skills to succeed in a fast-paced and demanding position,” said Bilski.
Through his position at Nangwik, Khalil hopes to assist wounded, ill and injured Marines with obtaining a rewarding career after they transition from the Corps.
“I enjoy my job because I know I make a difference every day I bring in the leadership experience from the Marine Corps. Even though I am no longer in the Marine Corps I am Marine in heart,” said Khalil.
He continues to encourage wounded, ill and injured Marines to set the bar high and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.
“The Marine Corps provides many opportunities, even after getting out,” said Khalil. “You can do whatever you set your mind to. Take advantage of the opportunities that the Regiment offers, strive to be better and improve yourself every day.”
Established in 2007, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was created to provide and facilitate non-medical care to combat and non-combat wounded, ill, and injured Marines, and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. The Regimental Headquarters element, located in Quantico, Va., commands the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and multiple detachments in locations around the globe.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment or the transition cell go to: www.woundedwarriorregiment.org or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at (877) 487-6299.