Wounded Warrior Program Details
The Wounded Warrior Program was established to give aid to paratroopers serving with the 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). When one of our paratroopers suffers a serious wound or injury in Afghanistan, he/she is evacuated to Landsthul Regional Medical Center in Germany within three days of the injury. Landsthul is the U.S. Army’s largest medical center outside the United States.
The Wounded Warriors are typically transported by the U.S. Air Force in a C-17 Transport accompanied by a team of medical professionals. Once our paratrooper reaches Landsthul, he/she is met by one of our representatives and presented with a hospital kit that contains everything from PJ’s to toothpaste. If classified as very seriously wounded, the military may issue Invitational Travel Orders for up to three family members which provides free transportation to Landsthul, including lodging.
At Landsthul, our paratrooper is further stabilized by teams of doctors from various medical specialities that prepare him or her for air transportation to a hospital in the United States. Most of our paratroopers are are evacuated to Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, or to the U.S. Army Burn Center in San Antonio, Texas. The great majority of our medical facilities are new and state-of-the-art where medical professions possess expertise in treating combat related trauma injuries.
On May 25, 2012, the new Burn Center facility in San Antonio, Texas, provided vital care to its first surgical patient. The facility is considered to be an engineering marvel and treats both military and civilian patients.
Depending on the type of injury, our wounded warriors may spend weeks to months at one of the medical centers. The 173d Airborne Association has over twenty chapters in the U.S with members in every state. Once notified of the locations of our wounded warriors, the Herd Foundation notifies the chapter closest to the medical center, enlist and arrange the chapter officers and members in that particular area to make scheduled visits and provide support to our wounded warriors undergoing a long process of treatment and rehabilitation.
The foundation has participated in many different activities to support the wounded warriors and their families in their journey of recovery, including hosting baby showers. First and foremost, our wounded warriors may require special needs housing and assistance in entering a very competitive job market. For example, we are able to provide free special needs housing or the assistance of companion dog typically provided by the Hero Dog Program. Companion dogs have been known to benefit our paratroopers with severe cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The Herd Foundation is constantly exploring new ways to assist our wounded warriors with computer equipments and educational tools in support of their quest for new opportunities and better quality of life after overcoming serious combat injuries.We encourage our paratroopers to compete whenever and wherever possible to strengthen their resolve and perseverance in overcoming every disadvantage associated with each soldier’s disability. Our foundation helps sponsor many competitive events involving Wounded Warriors.
The most gratifying moment for the foundation senior leadership and the members of the 173d Airborne Brigade Association is to witness our wounded warriors resume their military careers or start successful civilian careers as is the case for this group of wounded warriors.