Wounded Warrior Project assessing Guam's needs - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Wounded Warrior Project assessing Guam's needs

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - Are you a post-9/11 veteran that is wounded, injured or ill? If so, the Wounded Warrior Project would like to help you.

During the Vietnam War Bruce Nitsche was injured by a land mine while on patrol and as a result he suffered trauma to his legs. His injury was so severe that his left leg had to be amputated, ending his military career. But this did not stop Nitsche as he found a new purpose to serve his fellow wounded veterans as the special projects executive vice president of the Wounded Warrior Project.

"Wounded Warrior is a non-profit organization," he explained. "We are chartered to serve those who are post-9/11 veterans any wounded injured or ill warrior that served post-9/11."

He is a founding member of the organization and today shared with Rotarians the program's mission and how it can assist veterans on Guam. "That's exactly why I am here really to do a needs assessment and to see what kind of needs are out here in Guam and how we can best assist part of it is our relationship with the American Red Cross," he said.

The American Red Cross and Wounded Warrior Project have partnered to offer a series of programs and activities to support wounded, ill or injured service members, their family members and medical staff. He says currently they serve those in Europe and the United States and are looking to expand to include the Far East and Pacific. "We have 20 different programs from physical health and wellness to mental health needs to benefits counseling," he shared.

He says veterans do not have to be registered with the Veterans Affairs Office in order to become a part of the Wounded Warrior Project instead one must register with the organization. He adds a cornerstone of the partnership is the transition care packs which are distributed to the wounded, ill and injured. "TCPs are Transition Care Packages and we have offered those over in Iraq and Afghanistan to those who were being treated over there they often would get evacuated from the theater to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany and they didn't have anything so it consisted of some basic comfort items really just some shorts t-shirts toiletries," he said.

He says that TCPs can be offered to hospitals on island treating post-9/11 warriors. He adds that the difference is the warriors here may not need the TCPs and so they are looking at ways they can benefit active duty service members on island. Veterans can learn more about the programs and services offered by visiting www.woundedwarriorproject.org.  
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