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Open house initiates start of Warrior Care Month

By Staff Sgt. Kimberly Smith | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | November 10, 2017

     The Warrior Transition Battalion Soldier Family Assistance Center hosted an open house ceremony Nov. 3. The two Soldiers from the WTB in charge of the open house ceremony were 1st Lt. Temira Pollard and Staff Sgt. Octavius Young. The ceremony educates everyone on what services are available. Families and Soldiers from the Fort Riley community had the opportunity to learn about what programs and services exist.

     Warrior Care Month is held every year in November. The two sporting events held in November are as scheduled, the wheelchair volleyball game Nov. 15 and the basketball game Nov. 22.

      Staff Sgt. Matthew Olsen from the WTB made a grand opening speech Nov. 3 about the Warrior Care Month.

     Olsen said that WTB has helped him become focused on being physically active. Olsen said participating in sports has helped him recover from his physical injuries. Olsen has participated in swimming, bicycling, archery and running. He takes initiative in any new upcoming sports events held.

     “You cannot fail while being at WTB,” Olsen said. “Soldiers will be set up for success. The only way you can fail is if you don’t participate or take responsibility.”

     Olsen mentioned that the WTB is a good place for Soldiers to transition through good medical care, on-the-job training, enrollment in college classes and volunteer in group activities.

     This year Pollard wanted to make it better by providing a good food set-up and inviting representatives from the Red Cross, Army Wellness Center, WTB Community Reintegration and the Soldier for Life Employment Workshop to engage with the visitors. Pollard said that the representative of AWC will educate Soldiers and families on staying healthy.

     “The Red Cross representative is here to help Soldiers and families as caregivers and volunteering,” Pollard said.

     The Red Cross representatives will support the WTB sports events including food and refreshments.

     Rebecca Estrella, Red Cross representative, explained to the visitors that they provide services to all military branches. She said there is a program called Holiday for Heroes, where the Red Cross volunteers will ship toys, Christmas cards, food and hygiene products for military families staying overseas. Estrella said she helps military families from Nebraska, Kansas and southwest Iowa regions for any assistance that will be needed. Those services include water, food, shelter, clothing and personal hygiene items.

      Kendra Seat, director of the AWC, spoke to new Soldiers about the wellness program and scheduled some appointments for them. She said that Soldiers find out how much they weigh and what calorie intake to eat to become healthy through percentage of body fat.

      Lt. Col. Tony Hudson from 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, visited the open ceremony. He said he did not know about all of these resources and programs that were provided for WTB Soldiers to transition or return to duty. He also toured the WTB barracks. Hudson said he will share this opening ceremony to his unit about the Warrior Care Month and the programs offered for Soldiers and families.

      Young expressed his concerns how sports can bring motivation for Soldiers.

     “If these Soldiers are going back to duty, they won’t be out of shape,” Young said. “Sports provided at Warrior Transition Battalion will help soldiers rehabilitate back in a regular unit.”

      Pollard said Soldiers from all units of Fort Riley need to know how important these programs are. In her message, she expressed to the units that Soldiers at the WTB are not only getting medical care, but participating in community reintegration events. She wants the commanders from all units to understand that WTB Soldiers will have an opportunity to go to school and conduct physical training exercises to keep fit if returned to duty.

      Young said he wants Soldiers and families of the Fort Riley community to watch or participate in these sporting events. He said a wheelchair sport is not just for injured Soldiers, but for anyone interested in playing. He does not want people to think of a wheelchair sport event for someone that cannot walk. He said this kind of event brings camaraderie and resilience.

     “Sports is instilled to rebuild yourself,” Young said. “Without it, you feel broken and defeated. I can’t use my left hand, but can still play any sports. It helps Soldiers come out of depression.”

      After the month’s sporting events are completed, the winning teams will receive a prize.

      The open house will encourage everyone to find out what is expected for these two sporting events, Young said. It is not only just for sports, but to socialize and know what WTB is for wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.

 

Tag Army Wellness Center   Tag Warrior Transition Battalion