Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Air Force Wounded Warrior Program Helps Heal Body and Mind

Letting go of pride: Air Force vets adapt to 'invisible wounds'

Army Times
Charlsy Panzino
September 19, 2017

When a friend suggested he join the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, Smith hesitated because he felt his non-combat injuries didn’t warrant joining the program. He didn’t “fit the bill” of those wounded in combat, he said.

Retired Tech. Sgt. Joshua Smith competes in the seated shot put during the 2017 Warrior Games July 5 at Soldier Field, Chicago. (Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons/Air Force)
Two Air Force veterans who were severely injured during their service, and who suffered from the “invisible wounds” of post-traumatic stress, said they had to overcome fear of the stigma sometimes associated with getting help ― and their own pride ― to recover from their wounds.

The airmen talked about their roads to recovery during the Air Space Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Md., Monday.

Former Tech Sgt. Joshua Miller and Capt. Mitchell Kieffer, both medically retired, suffered significant injuries during their time in service. Those injuries led to a string of surgeries for both veterans and, ultimately, a choice: between reaching out to overcome those injuries or to isolate themselves.

Smith joined the Air Force in 2003 as an aircrew flight equipment specialist and served on active duty for 13 years.
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As you can see, it is the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program and not the "project" running ads.