Since the launch of the Global War on Terrorism, more than 3,000 U.S. service men and women, mostly soldiers in the Army, have been killed and over 30,000 have been injured. Among the latter group, more than 1,500 have suffered severe injuries or trauma, including amputation, post-traumatic stress disorder, blindness, burns, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. These soldiers qualify for the Army’s Wounded Warrior (AW2) program, an effort to assist soldiers as they make their way through the rehabilitation process, retire from the military and transition to civilian life. AW2 caseworkers help soldiers and their families address such issues as deciding where to live, adapting their homes to meet their needs, accessing medical and psychiatric care, and navigating the Army’s benefit programs. One significant challenge both to the Army and to soldiers and families has been determining what type of career the soldiers will pursue following such significant disability.
To address this challenge, Mobility partnered with the National Organization on Disability to develop the Wounded Warriors Careers demonstration, which provided intensive career planning, management and support to returning soldiers and their families. The demonstration took place in Fayetteville NC, Colorado Springs CO and Dallas TX all of which have high concentrations of soldiers returning with severe disabilities. Wounded Warriors Careers complemented other efforts underway to ensure that soldiers and their families are able to take full advantage of the resources available to them to find jobs, enroll in education and begin their careers.