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Wounded soldiers care consolidated
Heather Talbot, Lillie Talbot, Spc. David Talbot, Col. John P. Collins, Aiden Talbot, Lt. Col. Tyra White, Irene Hicks and Staff Sgt. James Hicks cut the ribbon to officially open the Warrior Transition Battalion interim campus on Fort Stewart. - photo by Randy Murray / U.S. Army photo
The interim campus for Fort Stewart's Warrior Transition Battalion was officially opened Tuesday morning with the slicing of a few red, white and blue ribbons.
Battalion officials hosted a small ribbon cutting to welcome the community to its new facilities and showcase the Army's continued efforts to provide better care for soldiers wounded in combat.
The WTB is home to more than 580 soldiers wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan who need assistance completing medical evaluations and preparing for a return to either active duty service or civilian life, depending on the severity of their injuries.
It was established last summer as part of the Army Medical Action Plan, an initiative in response to reports outlining shortcomings in the care of injured troops, most notably the substandard conditions and treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Soldiers assigned to the WTB on Fort Stewart now receive personal attention through a triad of care consisting of a primary care manager, a nurse case manager and a squad leader given to each soldier to guide them on their path to healing.
"In the past, soldiers really didn't have this," Cpl. Travis Koch, a member of the battalion since November, said. "Now that the Army's taking time out and putting forth the effort and the money it's really making a difference. It's giving the soldiers hope."
But while most troops have applauded the upgraded standard of care received through the battalion, there has been a demand from soldiers to have more immediate access to care staff members and social service resources.
That demand has been met with the interim campus and the upcoming permanent site under construction.
Contained within former National Guard barracks buildings, the temporary site consolidates resources spread throughout the post into a campus of 11 buildings.
Now within just a few moments of each other are the WTB headquarters, A and B companies, an ombudsmen, nurse case managers, a dining hall and the Soldier Family Assistance Center, where wounded soldiers and their families receive guidance on everything from legal to social counseling.
Though only a temporary site to be used until the new WTB permanent campus is completed in fiscal year 2010, Fort Stewart Commander Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said it was a step in the right direction of wounded soldier care.
"While it is just an interim campus, it is indeed a clear step forward in caring for our wounded heroes," Lynch said via a recorded video message. "Helping our wounded warriors is a nastional starts here, it starts today."
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