Wounded Warriors find resources at new fair

  • Published
  • By Kevin Gaddie
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs

The Airman and Family Readiness Center held its first Wounded Warrior Resources Fair here March 5.

The event offered information and education about resources and programs to active duty members with service-connected injuries.

“During pre-separation counseling, we noticed a lot of our Wounded Warriors don’t have the information they need for transition to the civilian sector,” said Tarey Milton, Wounded Warrior transition program manager.  “For example, many don’t know about the Wounded Warrior program.  We brought representatives here for them to meet.”

Milton said many members need help with issues like finances, homelessness, substance abuse, mental health and health care, to name a few.

Though many Wounded Warriors could meet with representatives at the fair, others face challenges that prevented them from attending, he said.

He said some members have post-traumatic stress disorder and are uncomfortable around groups of people.  Others work from home while maintaining their active duty status.  They receive help from and base recovery care coordinators on a case-by-case basis. 

Cheryl West, DAV transition services officer here, helps members file their VA disability claims before leaving active duty, to prevent interruption of benefits.  She receives 50 to 70 claims a month.

“This fair is a good way to let people know we exist,” she said.

West recommends service members file claims no earlier than 180 days before separation.

Master Sgt. Uroyoan Riefkohl, 7th Special Forces Group, gathered information from the eight organizations.

“The fair is great because it helps me to focus on the help I need to get after my military career is over,” he said.

Milton said the A&FRC wants to take care of Eglin’s Wounded Warriors and plans to host more fairs.

“Our Wounded Warriors deserve our assistance as they transition to the civilian world,” he said.  “We want to equip them with the necessary tools to make their situations better.”

For more information, call 882-9060.