CARE Event spotlight: Kwan Kohanbani

  • Published
  • By Alexx Pons
  • Air Force Wounded Warrior Program
The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program is currently hosting the northwest region Warrior CARE Event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.


More than 120 wounded, ill or injured service members from across the nation are participating in introductory restorative care events focusing on caregiver support, familiarization with adaptive sports and ambassador workshops, exposure to mentorship and resiliency programming, and targeted transition assistance.


Among those in attendance is first-time participant, Kwan Kohanbani, a sheriff currently serving Monroe County, New York.


Kohanbani spent more than 10 years in the Air National Guard as a security forces defender; nearly three of those years where on active-duty orders while deployed overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq. The former guardsman is currently on the Temporary Disability Retired List holding a 100 percent disability rating for post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as issues with anxiety, arthritis, depression and Tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).  


“I already knew a lot about the warrior project, but I also knew I had been receiving a number of emails from the AFW2 program… I wanted to see what the Air Force program was all about, what they could offer me and how they could aid in my personal recovery,” he said.


AFW2, unlike the warrior project, is not a non-profit organization. AFW2 is a Congressionally-mandated, federally-funded program that provides personalized care, services and advocacy to seriously or very seriously wounded, ill or injured Total Force recovering Airmen, their caregivers and their families. The program focuses on specific personal and family needs, and includes programs that cover a gamut of situations throughout the recovery process and beyond.


“Once I realized the difference and that this was service specific, I wanted to give this program an opportunity and see what I could gain from attending the CARE event,” Kohanbani said. “At a minimum, this is an opportunity to meet and network with others, like myself, who have faced or are facing struggles, visible and invisible wounds, and work toward rebuilding our personal sense of normal.”


Kohanbani noted that his biggest, personal struggle is facing the anxiety of being over-exposed to so many people at once, but that it is outweighed by the alternative.


“I can either be here at least trying to face my demons, or home alone,” he said. “At least this way I am trying. And the AFW2 staff really has been instrumental in getting me this far – everyone is incredibly friendly and understanding… they make it easier to face each day one step at a time.”


For more information about the AFW2 program, visit their official website. Additionally, be sure to like their Facebook page for program updates, upcoming events and the latest news.


Editor’s note: The next CARE event (following JBLM) will be held at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, this November.