AUSN

SUMMER 2018

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

Issue link: http://digital.ausn.org/i/1012109

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8 Navy | Summer 2018 GUEST COLUMN Taking Care of Our Wounded, Ill and Injured Shipmates By Heidi Weller T he journeys taken by our wounded, ill and injured warriors are daunting, oen heart-wrenching. e Navy culinary specialist seaman diagnosed with Moyamoya disease, a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder, aer only three years of service. e Navy hospital corpsmen who, while running to the aid of a fellow service member, stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), ultimately losing a leg. e utilitiesman (Seabee combat warfare specialist) who suffered a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder following several gun battles. Life for these service members changed in a minute, leaving them with limited resources or support. e Navy Safe Harbor Foundation (NSHF) and the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), working in conjunction with the Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor (NWW-Safe Harbor) program, are helping to ease the burdens borne by Sailors, Coast Guard members and their families in such situations. NWW-Safe Harbor was established in 2006 when Congress signed into law the National Defense Autho- rization Act mandating the establishment of Wounded Warrior programs across all services. In 2008, the Navy program was expanded to support active-duty personnel who suffered serious injury or illness while on duty. In 2009, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Navy and the Coast Guard expanding the NWW-Safe Harbor program to include Coast Guard members and their families. NWW-Safe Harbor is the Navy's sole program for the non-medical needs of wounded, ill and injured military personnel. ey coordinate with medical treat- ment facilities to aid the non-medical care, manage- ment of pay, benefits and entitlements, family support, legal services, adaptive sports, reconditioning, transi- tion education and employment assistance. As of January, NWW-Safe Harbor had 5,855 enrollees, of which 41 percent were injured in either combat- or noncombat-related incidents, and 59 percent were diagnosed with an illness. Once enrolled in the program, the service members receive person- alized non-medical assistance throughout all phases of their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. e non-medical care coordinator conducts a needs assessment and assists in developing a Comprehensive Recovery Plan with enrollees and their family members or caregivers that identifies goals and needs. With an increasing number of Sailors and Coast Guard members returning from conflicts and in need of assistance, the available financial resources oen are limited. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been established to step in and help cover the gaps. at is where NSHF, an NGO, plays its part. NSHF was established in 2009 as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organi- zation focused on providing financial assistance and support to Sailors and Coast Guard members enrolled in the NWW-Safe Harbor program and their families When a need has been identified and government benefits excluded as a potential resource, NWW-Safe Harbor submits a request to NSHF for financial assis- tance. Specialized equipment, housing and vehicle modification, and training for and participating in adaptive athletics are just a few of the benefits supported by NSHF. While the enrolled service member is the focus of care, the family is an integral part of the recovery process. NSHF can provide support to them in the form of funding for travel expenses, respite care and child care, for example. Such resources greatly relieve the stress families experience while their loved ones are recuperating. Adaptive athletics, beginning with introductory sports camps and training, often as a part of rehabil- itation, build not only a wounded warrior's physical strength, they address mental and emotional injuries as well. For example, a medically retired, combat- wounded veteran and new NWW-Safe Harbor program enrollee had such a successful experience while participating in trials in February for the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games in June — the qualifying event to become part of Team Navy

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