U.S. Special Operations Command’s Warrior Care Program- Care Coalition hosted its 2021 Warrior Care Conference April 6 – 7 virtually from the headquarters located on MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. WCP-CC brought together leaders, subject matter experts, and Special Operations Service members to discuss topics including the impact of repetitive blast exposures, military adaptive sports, career transition initiatives, and pain management during the two-day conference.
The conference kicked off with Army Gen. Richard D. Clarke, Commander USSOCOM, giving opening remarks, honoring our Gold Star families, and presenting two Patriot Awards.
“Each of you has suffered tremendous personal loss, yet you continue to give back. Your strength and commitment to help others is inspirational,” Clarke noted to the Gold Star Family members in attendance.
To the broader audience, he underscored the value of coming together under the umbrella of Warrior Care. “This conference is a key component in advancing the Warrior Care Program. It provides a valuable forum for each of us to learn about present challenges and emerging opportunities to grow this community of interest and help our SOF and families in need. It also provides an occasion to honor some among us who provide significant and enduring contributions to the SOF community. We call this honor the Patriot Award.”
The Patriot Award recognizes exceptional and enduring contributions to the welfare of USSOCOM’s wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. This year’s recipients are Army Colonel Kent Solheim and his wife Trina Solheim.
A Special Forces officer, Col. Solheim was grievously wounded in Iraq in 2007 and is still on active duty. Mrs. Solheim works as the executive director of Gold Star Teen Adventures, a non-profit started and managed by the Solheims. The Solheim family received the Patriot Award for their work and outreach among the teenage children of fallen servicemembers.
“By the very nature of this work, their positive impact will stretch across multiple generations. This type of commitment is more vital today than ever before,” said Clarke.
The Warrior Care Program was founded in 2005 to provide non-medical advocacy and support services to wounded, ill and injured USSOCOM service members and their families.
Its mission is to help members return to operational status, move into a different field, or transition into veteran status. The program provides advocacy and care coordination services to more than 18,000 people.
“The USSOCOM Warrior Care Program, also known as the Care Coalition, strives to provide continuity and coordinate resources from the point of injury through the care continuum in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our recovering service members with the primary intent to get them back to their units, preserve their talent, and protect the USSOCOM investment in our most precious asset: our people. The unyielding desire to return to their teammates coupled with the tenacious drive inherent in our Service Members set the conditions for successful achievement of that objective,” said Kelly Ammerman, WCP-CC Director.
The four pillars of the Warrior Care Program are recovery, where medical treatment is the focus; rehabilitation, where optimal medical and operational fitness is achieved; reintegration, where retaining special operations forces on active duty is the priority and when
needed; and transition, where a seamless transition to civilian life for continued medical care, benefits, and career opportunities is pursued.
To contact the USSOCOM Warrior Care Program go to https://www.socom.mil/care-coalition/.