WWMP’s mission is to assist Wounded Warriors (WWs) at military hospitals to transition to civilian life or continued military service by establishing a supporting relationship with them, guiding them in their professional or educational development, locating and assisting with available internships, jobs, and career opportunities, and finding Classmates or other qualified persons to be Follow-On Mentors once they leave the Warrior Transition Unit.
This entails a firm but limited commitment of time – an initial meeting with the wounded soldier or marine, keying on his/her needs and interests, followed by phone calls and occasional subsequent meetings to assist him or her. Our experience is that a couple of meetings the first month and monthly meetings thereafter, along with regular phone calls and e-mails, are needed.
Specific things you can do to assist him/her are:
- Encourage the WW to take the VA aptitude test. Review the results with him/her.
- Help the WW identify a desired job/career goal, and the steps needed to reach it.
- Encourage him/her while in an outpatient status to take advantage of the Tuition Assistance Program and to take courses at a local university or college with no cost to the WW.
- Encourage him/her to take advantage of the VA Vocational/Rehabilitation Program, the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and other programs that can provide education, job training and other assistance.
- Encourage the WW to take advantage of other opportunities, internships, job fairs, and help from other organizations.
- Provide information on jobs and careers that match the WW’s interests and aptitude.
- At the appropriate time, put the WW in touch with our team of job and education counselors.
- Upon leaving the hospital, assist the WW in making a smooth transition to the military, or to civilian life and into the VA system. At the appropriate time agreeable to both you and the WW, assist the WW in making the transfer of mentoring to a Follow-On Mentor. The Follow-On Mentor will be trained and oriented by our Team before the transition.
On a personal note, our current Mentors note that these young men and women generally suffer from considerably more serious wounds than those of either the Vietnam War or the first two years of the Iraq War. Multiple wounds from IEDs are common. Nevertheless, the spirit of these fine young people is unbelievable. They are a great group of young Americans. We hope you can help by becoming a Mentor.
It is clear what the Mentor Program means to Wounded Warriors who chose to participate. What does it mean to the Mentors? Cy Shearer, West Point Class of 1961, put it best at a recent Mentor training session: “I get far more than I give from my association with these Soldiers and Marines.”