Follow-On Mentors

WHO WE ARE

The WWMP Follow-On Mentor (FOM) Program is comprised of Mentors who are located in cities and towns across the entire United States of America, and will provide long-term mentoring.  Many FOMs are former military members, and all have volunteered to help the Wounded Warrior (WW) stay on their path to success as they return to their hometown and either continue with their military career, or reintegrate into civilian life as a veteran.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Follow-On Mentor Program at followonmentor@live.com .

WHAT WE DO

FOMs help WWs in many ways when they return to their local community.  They facilitate their transition to the Veterans Administration (VA), as well as assist with benefits and educational goals.  We match a WW to a FOM that is in, or near to, their home geographic location.  We use the WW’s original intake interview and the Quarterly Update Reports the current Mentor here in the Washington, D.C., area has filed to understand what special considerations the WW needs.

When a match has been made, the FOM is put in contact with the current Mentor, and they work together to support the WW’s return home and help reintegrate them into their community.  The current Mentor can also help the FOM better understand the WW’s background, specific needs, goals, etc.  The FOM will have access to a list of contacts and Subject Matter Experts who can provide answers and advice as particular situations arise.  The current Mentor will stay in contact as long as necessary to ensure a successful transition is in place.

We also support the WW’s family unit, as they will be making a number of adjustments when the WW returns home.  Our goal is to provide the WW and their family with the support and guidance necessary to navigate not only the transition from military to civilian life, but also ensure success moving forward as the WW works towards new life goals.  Taking on the role of caregiver brings many new stressors, including financial, transportation, and child care needs.  Children and other loved ones may need help to better understand what the WW is going through. The FOM can help to identify ways to mitigate that stress on the family unit through contact with Subject Matter Experts.

WHY A FOLLOW-ON MENTOR IS IMPORTANT

When the WW leaves the Washington, D.C., area military medical facility, they will likely no longer have many of the support systems that were in place while here.  Many of the routines they became accustomed to will change:

  • They will be in a civilian, not military, environment with different social norms and experiences, and this may be hard to adjust to
  • They will not have the daily access to medical care that they received while in the Washington, D.C., area military medical facility, and they may not even have reliable transportation to the nearest VA facility
  • They may be on heavy medication, or they may have difficulty maintaining their medication schedule, which can lead to changes in health and behavior that need to be addressed
  • They may not have a family or community support system to return to, that family or community may not understand how to effectively deal with the WW’s illness or injury, or that family or community may introduce new stressors that the WW must now find ways to cope with
  • Though on the track to success when they leave the Washington, D.C., area military medical facility, new events such as a re-injury, accident, change in medication, economic hardship, or a similar change in a family member’s life can introduce new variables and stressors that can impact how well the WW maintains their 3- to 5-year plan for success

A FOM can provide support as the WW adjusts to their new environment and changing circumstances, help them overcome new challenges, and stay on track towards fulfilling their goals.  The work and support system that the current Mentor began will be carried on by a FOM, giving the WW a greater chance at achieving the goals they have set, and making a successful transition.

HOW TO RECEIVE A FOLLOW-ON MENTOR

If you are enrolled the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program, contact your current Mentor and let them know you are interested in having a FOM when you return home.  They will begin the process and let you know when a match has been made.

If you have not previously gone through the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program, but are current or former military and feel you would benefit from a mentor, contact Jim Harris 2jimharris@gmail.com

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A FOLLOW-ON MENTOR

Follow-On efforts are becoming more critical as WWs are being released from Washington, D.C., area military medical facilities and travel to new locations throughout the United States.  If you are interested in becoming a FOM, contact Bert David bdavid@bertdavidassociates.com with the following information:

  • Town and State (include zip code)
  • Telephone contact number(s)
  • Proximity to a Veterans Administration Hospital/Facility
  • Professional/educational/military background