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WARRIOR CARE MONTH: WOUNDED WARRIORS GET OUT, SOCIALIZE

01 December 2021

From Anna Marie G. General, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - In recognition of Warrior Care Month, a two-day R.E.S.E.T. (Recreation, Employment, Support, Education and Transition) event was held for wounded warriors at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Nov. 16 and 18.
(Editor's note: This article is Part II of a two-part series in support of Warrior Care Month.)

In recognition of Warrior Care Month, a two-day R.E.S.E.T. (Recreation, Employment, Support, Education and Transition) event was held for wounded warriors at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Nov. 16 and 18.

This event was hosted by the Navy Region Hawaii Wounded Warrior program at Honeymoon Beach and the Arts and Crafts Center on JBPHH.

“These events have been held for five years and each year we add more events to our roster,” said Margo Crane, N95 program director for the Navy Wounded Warrior Program, Navy Region Hawaii. “This year we planned five events throughout the month of November which included the fifth annual cake-cutting ceremony which took place on Nov. 17, the fifth annual Wounded Warrior ‘Purple’ Bowling Tournament which took place on Nov. 30 and the R.E.S.E.T. events, to name a few.

During the R.E.S.E.T. events which consisted of stand-up paddling, kayaking, fishing, outrigger canoe paddling, a team-building ropes course, ceramics and woodworking; wounded warriors had the opportunity to meet others who share similar struggles and situations.

“This has given me the opportunity to face some challenges which may seem complicated and frightening at first but it gives me a chance to get out there and build my confidence,” said Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class McArthur Albert assigned to Joint Typhoon Warning Center. "I’m glad it gave me the opportunity to meet other people in my similar situation about some of the fears that we have and we just kind of bond on a different level.”

As wounded warriors participate in multiple outdoor sports and activities, many struggle with socializing in public, but with events like this, it brings them out to a place where they know they feel comfortable in a safe space.

“I have PTSD and I tend to not want to be out around other people, so it’s hard for me to get out of the house even to the grocery store or to do anything physical,” said Hull Technician 3rd Class Mercedes Quinn assigned to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. “To get out, it just shows you that with a lot of like-minded people, it is safe and good to be physically active because it is a natural anti-depressant."

While wounded warriors express their thoughts about their experiences, these events have brought them closer together.

“This event has been a very good experience for all of us to come together in our different struggles that we’re dealing with,” said Hunter Jett, Culinary Specialist Submarines Chief assigned to JBPHH. “Medically, a lot of us are getting through processes that are unfamiliar to us, some of us feel alone especially with the pandemic…this has been a good time for all of us to come together.”

The Warrior Care Month program highlights the many ways the Navy will continue to support wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. With this year’s theme “Virtual Show of Strength,” Crane highlights the importance of the program and how it can assist service members throughout the islands and the Indo-Pacific.

“There are two very important pieces to our Warrior Care Month events. The first one is to give our wounded warriors and their spouse/caregivers exposure to recreational opportunities, educational opportunities, and employment opportunities to help them prepare to transition smoothly from active duty to civilian life once they have been medically retired,” said Crane. “The second important piece of the Warrior Care Month events is to gain exposure for our Navy Wounded Warrior Program so that other Sailors and Coast Guardsmen who may be going through medboards know about the program and can reach out to request enrollment.”

To learn more about the Navy Wounded Warrior program, visit their website here
 
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