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  • Prolonged exposure therapy aids recovery for PTSD patients

    Suffering from post-traumatic stress is an unfortunate reality for many service members.  Post-traumatic stress disorder it is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident or sexual assault. People often have upsetting memories, feel on
  • Warrior Games Profile: Ricardo Rivera

    As the 2018 Warrior Games competition begins to wind down here, we caught up with retired Tech. Sgt. Ricardo Rivera to talk about not just how these adaptive sports have helped promote in his personal recovery, but also how the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program has been there every step of the way. Rivera began his career in 2006 as a security
  • Warrior Games Profile: Melissa McAvoy

    Retired Lt. Col. Melissa McAvoy enlisted in the Air Force in 1993, beginning her career as an F-111 avionics journeyman, and retired in 2017 as the Deputy Director of Laboratory Operations Directorate, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.During her career she deployed as an Air Liaison Officer, United Nations
  • Warrior Games Special: Finding the will to carry on

    Cory Sandoval retired as a staff sergeant after serving more than six years in the Air Force as a battlefield weather forecaster; a career which was unfortunately cut short by an unforeseen life event.  “I am a people person and a family man; family will always be the most important thing in this world to me,” he said. “I was picked on a lot as a
  • Warrior Games Profile: John Angel

    “The biggest struggle for me was having to let go of who I once was and find who I am now. I have always been an Airman and lived a very active lifestyle; it felt like I hit a brick wall after my injury and the illnesses it caused,” Angel said.
  • Warrior Games Profile: Joshua Smith

    I think overall everyone is ready to compete. All our athletes have put in a lot of training; lots of hours on the field, in the gym, on the court – just a huge amount of dedication. With that, we have engaged directly with each other daily and checked in on how well everyone is keeping up with individual practice regiments which has built a lot of unity and teamwork. For those of us who have been here before, having first timers pick our brains for the knowledge we have has really helped keep everyone mentally engaged and dialed in – we are focused and ready to go.
  • Warrior Games Profile: Caregiver Support

    The road to recovery for those who have faced extreme adversity is often not faced alone; true to that spirit, Master Sgt. Jose Rijos, 104th Fighter Wing Security Forces with the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts, is here supporting one of the 39 athletes representing Team Air Force during the 2018 Warrior Games as a caregiver.
  • Warrior Games Profile: Ultimate Champion

    To earn the title, athletes participating in these adaptive sport games must compete in their respective disability classifications across eight events: archery, cycling, powerlifting, rowing, shot put, shooting, swimming and track. Each branch is allotted two slots, one male and one female, with branches also earning points based upon designated competitors’ results in their events. The athlete who garners the most points across all eight events is awarded the title of Ultimate Champion.
  • Warrior Games Profile: Janelle Lykon

    Retired Staff Sgt. Janelle Lykon enlisted in the Air Force Reserve in 2004, beginning her career as an Air transportation troop at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachussets. The mother of two was first introduced to the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program in 2017, and credits her children as her primary motivators throughout her recovery
  • Warrior Games Profile: Julie Walker

    Lt. Col. Julie Walker graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, beginning her career as a supply officer under Air Mobility Command at Norton Air Force Base, California. Walker was immediate described as an aggressive, mature and confident leader. Today, she serves not only as an athlete, but an Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program mentor, a
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We are now less than one week away from our North Central Region CARE Event at Offutt AFB! Who else will we be seeing there?
Have you completed the AFW2 PsychArmor Institute collaborative training? This is a free, online resource that offers support to all Americans who work with, live with or care for military service members, veterans and their families. Sign up on our trainings page today at:
In case you missed it, The Department of Defense issued a substantive change to its policy on the transfer by service members in the uniformed services of Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits to eligible family member recipients. Read more below:
The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2), in collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, recently launched an online training resource to benefit the more than 6,300 wounded warriors their families and or caregivers currently being supported by the program. Members will need to register for a free account via the Training page of the AFW2 website to access the online material. More information below:
Our North Central Region Warrior CARE Event at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska is just around the corner! Check back here for updates and to learn about programs offered to our wounded warriors.
This #AFW2_warriorwednesday we recognize retired Staff Sergeant Clifton Flint. He joined the #AirForce in 2004 as a Security Forces Defender. During his first deployment to Iraq in 2005 Clifton was involved in an explosion that threw him 30 feet from where he was standing, leading to him suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He developed PTSD from the incident but didn't seek treatment until his wife gave him an ultimatum in 2009. He says he realizes he'll have PTSD for the rest of his life but encourages anyone with similar issues to seek help. He goes on to say, "A lot of people believe their career is over if they go to mental health--but it's not. I was sent to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for eight weeks, for an in-patient PTSD course. During the course I met other sufferers--we're all still in touch with each other and offer a vital support system."
It's only been a few weeks since we left Warrior Games. What are your fondest memories? The biggest takeaway is while it was a competitive event, each and every athlete has a story. Take a moment and share Melissa's. Let the world know!
The Air Force is seeking volunteers, including commanders at every level, to participate in interviews that will be used to develop a strategy to provide better care and support for Airmen and their families struggling with invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and major depression. A Booz Allen Hamilton culture assessment team will visit Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, July 24 to 27 to interview active duty and reserve members, civilians and military spouses as part of the Invisible Wounds Initiative. For more information please access the link below:
What does it mean to be a Caregiver? These family members (e.g. spouse, mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt and uncle etc.) provide non-professional assistance to recovering service members. There is strength in numbers and our warriors are never alone! Learn more about this support network on our Caregivers and Families page: http://www.woundedwarrior.af.mil/Support/Caregivers-Families/
The symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often be debilitating. Read about how Air Force mental health professionals are successfully treating Airmen with the use of prolonged exposure therapy.
Did you know: eBenefits offers transitioning airmen a secure environment where you can safely access personal information and perform routine self-service tasks such as Monitor VA Claims & browse employment resources. Visit eBenefits & set up your account today at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage
Did you know we have a partnership with PsychArmor to help support our vision and commitment to care beyond duty? You can find out more about PsychArmor & enroll in a free course at psycharmor.org
With a true national spirit of courage, integrity, sacrifice, liberty and independence, Happy 4th of July.
This #AFW2_warriorwednesday we'd like to try something different and recognize someone who shares a birthday with our great country. Staff Sgt. Rocio Reoyo joined the #AirForce in 2011 as a fuels technician. She started out her career in her hometown of Abilene, Texas, serving at Dyess AFB before heading off to Korea for a tour at Kunsan AB. She is currently stationed at Travis AFB, California where she works as the NCOIC of the Fuels Knowledge Ops section. She is consistently seen as a "Superior performer" earning her flight's Airman of the Year award for 2014. Rocio is just one of a handful of wounded warriors enrolled in AFW2 who celebrate their birthday today. Happy Birthday Rocio and all others who share a with the U.S.A.
Not all wounds are obvious… even visible. The Invisible Wounds Initiative (IWI) was created by Air Force senior leadership to successfully support Airmen and their families coping with Invisible Wounds (IW) by developing an expected environment of understanding, trust, and open discourse among Airmen, their families, their peers, and their Leadership. Learn more about this program on our Programs and Initiatives page.
Bonds without Borders! Even in the heat of competition at Warrior Games athletes found themselves cheering on competitors, forming deep-rooted friendships throughout every event. In fact, the camaraderie was so significant that it prompted Mark Leatham, head coach of the Australian Defense Force team to personally invite five AFW2 Warriors to attend this year's annual City2Surf marathon in Sydney. City2Surf is one of the largest charitable road runs in the world expected to attract more than 80,000 entrants in an effort to raise well over a combined goal of $5,000,000 for over 900 charities! Running in in this years City2Surf will be TSgt. Ricardo Rivera, Lt Col. Melissa McAvoy, SSgt. Caleb Brooks, Capt. Coleman Hook & Maj. Lisa Mccranie Way to go warriors!
Warrior Games might be over, but we are still hearing about the lasting impact they had on even our youngest warriors! Check out a recent feature we were lucky enough to hear about involving Jazzy and her dolls.
This #AFW2_warriorwednesday we recognize Master Sgt. Alexander Bustard. He joined the Air Force in 2002, training to be an electrical systems technician. He currently serves on the Joint Base-Langley Honor Guard. Alex received his Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a deployment to Camp Speicher, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008. His injuries continue to nag him to this day but he stays motivated. Alex competed at the recent DoD Warrior Games at the US Air Force Academy (Official) and sees Warrior Games as a way to “motivate those with more severe injuries to keep striving for excellence." He says, “Seeing them [his fellow athletes] inspired me to compete amongst their peers, inspires me to raise my determination level.”
This #AFW2_warriorwednesday we recognize Captain Hunter Barnhill. He commissioned in the Air Force in 2009 as a pilot. On Easter morning 2017, he suffered a seizure in his backyard that he said was more, “frustrating than painful.” Luckily he was surrounded by friends who helped him out on that fateful morning. He found out later that he had a brain tumor and was sent to the University of Alabama-Birmingham for surgery. His wife Crystal said his recovery was tough but through a strong sense of faith and the motto, “Fights On,” they managed to overcome quite a bit. Hunter says his motivation for competing at Warrior Games is, “To teach my son the lesson that when life knocks you down--which it will at some point--to make the choice to get back up and keep rowing, keep pedaling, keep punching…keep doing whatever moves you forward. “
Team #AFW2 at #City2Surf in Australia. These wounded warriors are proving the strength of adaptive sports on the pa… https://t.co/ZMjJ9I0Fx7
Team #AFW2 at #City2Surf in Australia. These wounded warriors are proving the strength of adaptive sports on the pa… https://t.co/0m7tAJ8udJ
#AirForce wounded warriors and a member of the #AFW2 staff made the long journey to #Australia for #City2Surf 2018… https://t.co/tpwoucOJIh
#AirForce wounded warriors and a member of the #AFW2 staff made the long journey to #Australia for #City2Surf 2018… https://t.co/gGAekExVZk
Service members wounded in combat will be exempt from the Defense Department’s new policy to be deployable in 12 mo… https://t.co/aByjOrTc4z
The 2018 North Central #WarriorCARE Event wraps up in #AFW2 fashion. Thank you for following us. Learn more about t… https://t.co/v6iKmDxEbj
Yesterday our AFW2 Caregivers were able to enjoy a relaxing day of "Me Time" activities courtesy of our friends at… https://t.co/OiLeh9Gt9Z
RT @AirForceAssoc: We’re supporting the #CareFair at the North Central Regional @AFW2 #WarriorCARE event tonight! If you’re in the #Omaha a…
On the adaptive sports side of our #WarriorCARE Events we bring the best coaches and mentors out to help hone new s… https://t.co/ZlZUDhE0l3
Another GREAT Ambassador briefing, this time with the 55th Medical Group at Offutt AFB. These briefings show airmen… https://t.co/0KQMTeaMOK
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Melissa McAvoy tells her story during an #AFW_Ambassador workshop during the NC… https://t.co/nywxZI12eB
RT @KETV: The @AFW2 event takes place this week at @Offutt_AFB. 90 warriors and their caregivers will compete to build camaraderie and team…
Retired Captain Rob Hufford educates Team Offutt about how #AFW2 can help airmen. These #WarriorCARE Events offer u… https://t.co/QdTVXOEyF2
Join us LIVE on https://t.co/O1kIwDUpkK at 8 a.m. CST for the opening ceremony of the North Central #WarriorCARE Ev… https://t.co/29NlPXp8D0
It was a packed house at our North Central CARE Event volunteer meeting with Team Offutt this morning and we are ec… https://t.co/yXqHC4RW36
Learn more about post-traumatic growth in this @MFLN webinar. https://t.co/BqpEVraEPl
This #AFW2_warriorwednesday we recognize Staff Sgt. Brent Young. He joined the #AirForce in 1998 as a Security Forc… https://t.co/Orxw1QF4F6
We are now less than one week away from our North Central Region CARE Event at @offuttafb! Who else will we be se… https://t.co/s77ZD7lqRQ
In case you missed it, The Department of Defense issued a substantive change to its policy on the transfer by serv… https://t.co/ECr3u8P99h
What does it mean to be a #Caregiver? These family members (e.g. spouse, mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt and uncle… https://t.co/DnBQFq9O0V

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