Air Force

June 5, 2014

Helping our wounded warriors

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Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook)
Caption: A wounded warrior pets a service dog during an event held by Air Force Wounded Warrior program. The Air Force Wounded Warrior program helps veterans and their families who struggle after receiving mental or physical injuries.

Most of the time when someone hears about wounded warriors, they think of the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit civilian organization that is supported by donations. The Air Force has its own program to help these warriors.

The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) is a Department of Defense program that helps Airmen who have been listed as wounded warriors overcome some of the struggles and financial burdens that may arise in their families’ lives.

“Employment is a big issue,” said Vicki Beaudoin, Airman and Family Readiness wounded warrior consultant. “Sometimes they just can’t do the job they use to do and sometimes the whole family has to do a turn around.”

Beaudoin emphasized that being in AFW2 doesn’t mean you will be forced out of the military.

Although AFW2’s headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas, they are still able to work with wounded warriors and their families face-to-face. Each Air Force base has an AFW2 consultant that meets with wounded warriors and directs them to appropriate facilities or helps provide support to their families.

Beaudoin has started a spouse’s support group two months ago, the first of its kind in AFW2. Only wounded warrior spouses are approved to attend and everything they talk about stays in the group. Beaudoin has a topic for the group each session; she has had someone come in to talk about resiliency and also a member of the Military Family Life Consultant speak to the group.

“Some of the spouses have been going through the process {with their warrior] for three or four years,” she said. “The spouses that are new to having a wounded warrior learn how to recognize and deal with some of the difficult changes.”

Anyone interested in the program can find out more by calling the A&FRC at 228-5690.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

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