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Wounded Warrior Program Broken?

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  • Wounded Warrior Program Broken?

    In 2007 the Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Program established thirty-five Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) in response to the shocking failure of conventional Army medical facilities most notably the Army’s Walter Reed Hospital to provide effective care for soldiers recovering from wounds and injuries. The WTUs were intended to receive soldiers from deploying units who were undeployable for medical reasons injuries or illness, as well as provide care for returning wounded soldiers. The purpose was to provide an environment in which injured, wounded, and ill soldiers could recover quickly and return to full duty status. (Here is a link to the Army’s WTU web site.)

    This is a noble idea. It has, unfortunately, gone badly off the rails.

    For units preparing to deploy, the WTUs have, according to some reports, become dumping grounds for problem soldiers. (Here is a link to a Tom Ricks column quoting several serving officers on the subject.) This has become so widely known tht the troops for whom the WTUs were created consider it demeaning to be assigned to the units.

    At the other end, returning wounded and traumatized soldiers, instead of receiving personalized care, are often simply dumped into WTUs where they are “warehoused,” in the words of one returning wounded Iraqi veteran. Soldiers with PTSD symptoms are given one consult with a nurse each week and the rest of the time are heavily medicated not the best way to deal with depression or suicidal feelings. (Here is a link to a report on ...


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