Air Force Wounded Warrior program

Not to be confused with the Wounded Warrior Project non-profit organization, the United States Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is an Air Force funded program for all Air Force members, including Guard and Reserve members, who are wounded, ill, and injured. Headquartered at Randolph AFB, Texas, the program was developed in 2008 for members wounded in combat as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Soon after, however, the Air Force expanded the scope of the program to all members meeting eligibility requirements. The program offers lifelong care and recovery support to members.

Georgia Jones, Recovery Care Coordinator for the Southern California region of the program, says the program is important for the options and information it provides to seriously wounded, inured, or ill service members. Jones’ job as a Recovery Care Coordinator is to aid and guide the seriously wounded, ill, or injured service members during the transition from their Air Force career back to civilian life. “My position is to help provide a personalized comprehensive recovery plan to the member,” Jones says. Recovery help such as making housing more adaptable after a limb amputation, aiding the service member to gain employment in the civilian world, or even navigate the Veteran’s Affairs medical boarding process. “The program is there for the member for the rest of their life,” she says.

There are two ways to enroll in the program: the first, is when the member is admitted to the hospital and there is a chance they could pass away, a Casualty Report will be done. The Casualty Report is filed with the Wound Warrior Program at Randolph AFB, Texas, wherein Jones, or the nearest Recover Care Coordinator, will make contact with the member. The Second way to enroll, is after a serious wound, injury, or illness sustained while on duty is to file a “Line of Duty” form detailing the serious injuries, wounds, or illnesses which will then be sent to the program. Additionally, a referral form will need to be completed by either the member themselves, someone at the clinic, or the recovery care coordinator. After the reporting an assessment will be made determining the member’s eligibility. Sounds like a lengthy process, however Jones explains the process, in some cases, can take as little as twenty-four hours.

After enrollment a Recovery Care Coordinator will be assigned to the member and will begin partnering with the member to help navigate needs, assess helpful programs, and develop a sustainable care program. Members and their families are encouraged by their recover care coordinator to make use of any and every program that will help make their lives easier. “That’s the unique thing about this program,” Jones says, “The comprehensive recovery plan is personalized to whatever the member needs.”

Once a comprehensive recovery plan is developed with the member, the recovery care coordinator helps transition the member to be fully integrated with the program. To date, the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program has helped (insert # of ppl) and their families make the transition. For more information about the program they can be reached at their toll free help line at 1-800-581-9437 or emailed at wounded.warrior@us.af.mil.