Army Showcases Support Program for Disabled War VetsBy Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA, American Forces Press Serivce
The Army hosted a Pentagon
media roundtable to discuss a new
support program aimed at helping
those soldiers and their families
through the rehabilitation and transition
process Nov. 10.
“Dealing with injuries can be a
traumatic experience,” he said. “And we want to be there, right
He said that support system would incorporate the help several existing military agencies, such as Veterans Affairs and the Army Career and Alumni Program, as well as civilian agencies and corporations.
DS3 began after Acting Army
Secretary Les Brownlee and Veterans
Affairs Secretary Anthony J.
According to Army statistics, recent conflict has so far resulted in more than 880 disabled veterans, 230 of them now enrolled in the DS3 program, he said. Soldiers entered into the program will go through three phases.
The first phase is getting the soldier through medical stabilization and rehabilitation, and then on to proper medical treatment channels.
The soldier is then provided medical care and evaluated for continued service on active duty or help with disability decision.
Phase 3 includes helping the
soldier with decisions on retirement
and transition back to civilian
The Department of the Army is
the largest employer of veterans,
who make up 25 percent the
The Army is of hiring more than
200 caseworkers that will follow
disabled soldiers for up to five
The Army also plans to establish a toll-free hotline for soldiers to call during normal business hours.
Currently most disabled soldiers
returning from combat are
being treated at Walter Reed Army
Sgt. Michael Cain of the 299th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, a truck driver, was injured during a resupply mission in Tikrit when his truck rolled over an antitank mine. The blast severed his right leg below the knee. Although Cain said he used DS3 counselors only sparingly during his two-month hospital stay, counselors were able to help find a place for his parents when they came to visit and were readily available to help during his recovery.
“They do let you know what they have to offer to you. They let you know what they do and how they can help you,” he said.
Woods said the focus of the DS3 program is in the final statement of the Army Ethos: “I will never leave a fallen comrade behind.”
The program is being briefed to the other services so that they can consider offering similar programs to their service members.
New Laser Eye Surgery
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a single, uniform standard of care throughout the Department for performing laser eye surgery procedures.
The policy states that all
therapeutic laser eye surgeries
at VA facilities will be performed
The new policy will take effect immediately at all VA facilities with the capability to perform laser eye surgeries.
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