HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The Airman’s Creed outlines expectations of service members that raise their right hand and recite the Oath of Enlistment or Oath of Office upon joining the world’s greatest Air Force, preserving the legacy of those who have gone before them. Each line of the creed resonates an Airman’s call to duty and commitment to support and defend the United States, but what about the commitment to serve as a wingman? “I will never leave an Airman behind,” speaks volumes, but is often overlooked.
Airmen all over the world suffer from both visible and invisible wounds that may not always be recognized by their wingmen, and the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program is available to those who need help.
The Air Force defines a Wounded Warrior as any Airman who is seriously wounded, ill or injured that may require a Medical Evaluation Board or Physical Evaluation Board to determine fitness for duty.
“AFW2’s mission is to take as much stress off the member and their family as we can,” said Tamara Ransom, AFW2 program recovery care coordinator on Holloman. “As a care coordinator, it is my responsibility to take the ball and chain off the active-duty member, making their life as simple and comfortable as possible. I am the one that reaches out to the education offices or employment agencies, fills out applications, puts together resumes – essentially, I help the member with whatever they need assistance with.”
The AFW2 program assists the member with transitioning back to duty or into the civilian world, providing personalized restorative care to help manage the challenges regardless of injury or illness. One of the unique opportunities offered is the AFW2 CARE event. CARE stands for caregiver support, adaptive sports and resiliency program, recovering Airman mentorship program and empowerment in transition. These week-long events offer an enriching experience for everyone in a holistic environment.
To be eligible for the AFW2 program, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Very seriously wounded, ill or injured on the casualty report by the Department of Defense’s Medical Authority.
- Airmen with highly complex medical conditions (service connected or in-the-line of duty) confirmed by a medical authority.
- Airmen diagnosed with service connected or in-the-line of duty post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, Military Sexual Trauma (verified by medical authority) and are under consideration or referred to Medical Evaluation Board.
- Airmen in training status (including Basic Military Training), separated with complex medical conditions on a case-by-case basis.
- Purple Heart recipients.
As of July 1, 2019, the AFW2 program has an active population of 3,569, made up of 875 illnesses, 1,867 psychological wounds and 827 physical wounds. Eighty-five percent of the current enrollments are non-combat related.
“Do not be afraid to refer people,” said Ransom. “You may feel like it is not your business, but this program saves the lives of those who are suffering. They need to know they are not alone and there is help.”
AFW2 is online at http://www.woundedwarrior.af.mil and the following social media avenues: www.twitter.com/afw2, http://instagram.com/afw2 and www.facebook.com/airforcewoundedwarrior
To make an appointment with Holloman’s AFW2 care coordinator to refer an Airman or yourself, ask questions or get more information, contact Tamara Ransom by phone, 575-572-7299, or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.