USA: Thousand Service Members Enroll in Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor
One thousand seriously wounded, ill and injured service members are now enrolled in Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) – Safe Harbor, the Department of the Navy’s support program for Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.
“As awareness of this critical program has increased, enrollment numbers have continued to climb,” said Capt. Steve Hall, director of NWW. “I urge my shipmates and their families to help us continue spreading the word about NWW so we can reach additional service members who may need a helping hand.
The program’s goal is to enable service members to focus on getting well, while its team of experts resolves pressing non-medical concerns and prepares enrollees for transition back to active duty or civilian life.
In addition to its enrollees, NWW has also assisted more than 960 other service members who do not qualify for enrollment but still require support. NWW offers a wide range of services, including linking wounded warriors to benefits, connecting them to employment and education opportunities, hosting adaptive athletics events, and sharing family and mental health resources.
“I am so grateful for the NWW program, and for my non-medical care manager Lt. Edward Valdez,” said retired Navy Utilitiesman 2nd Class Jessica Mudgett, who was wounded in combat. “It is my dream to try out for the Warrior Games, and it’s a tangible goal I wouldn’t have without the program. If it wasn’t for NWW, I might feel forgotten. They have saved my life.”
This year also marks the fifth anniversary of NWW, which was formally established in 2008. Since its inception, the program’s mission has expanded beyond providing support to service members wounded in combat. Currently, it also enrolls service members diagnosed with serious illnesses or injured in liberty, training or shipboard accidents.
In 2009, NWW established a memorandum of agreement with the Coast Guard, signifying the program’s commitment to supporting seriously wounded, ill and injured Coast Guardsmen. Since that time, more than 50 Coast Guardsmen have enrolled in the program, and many more have received assistance.
“[My mon-medical care manager] Lt. Stephanie Marcelo has been nothing short of absolutely delightful in every way,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Owens, who battles Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). “Lt. Marcelo’s relentless determination and meticulous resourcefulness has been unquestionably instrumental in aiding with urgently needed Veterans Affairs and civilian benefits.”
Last year marked another milestone for NWW; in October 2012, the program realigned from Total Force Requirements Division (OPNAV N12) to Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). The program became N95, a department of Fleet and Family Support (N9) within CNIC.
Naval Today Staff, January 31, 2013; Image: US Navy