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    Month highlights warrior care

    Gerardo Medrano speaks to Soldiers

    Photo By Jeanine Mezei | Army retired Staff Sgt. Gerardo Medrano, a para-cyclist gold medalist, speaks about...... read more read more



    Story by Jeanine Mezei 

    Evans Army Community Hospital

    Working your way back from an injury can be a difficult process for many, but Soldiers endure a unique recovery journey that can test their mettle as a warfighter.

    Soldiers, senior leaders and community partners gathered at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Carson, Colorado, Nov. 1 for the annual Warrior Care Month Kickoff for wounded Soldiers currently on a recovery journey alongside their families.

    “This month highlights the Army’s continued commitment to the Soldiers and families of those wounded by providing that tribe of support,” said Evans Army Community Hospital Command Sgt. Maj. Federico Conde.

    This year’s Warrior Care Month theme is “Show of Strength,” which is represented in a multitude of strengths Soldiers, families and their caregivers display in order to overcome challenges.

    “Make sure you take time to remember yourself- mentally, physically, spiritually,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Handoe, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson Division CSM (Rear). “Whatever you need, the resources are here for you to use.”

    In addition to career, financial and rehabilitation resources at the SFAC, the event featured partners on hand from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Operation TBI Freedom and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, to speak with attendees about available resources in the local community.

    Throughout November, the Warrior Transition Battalion, with the assistance of the SFAC, will host multiple events throughout Fort Carson and the community at large to make sure they are bringing forth information, updates and resources available to wounded Soldiers and their families, according to Conde.

    The event featured a previous Soldier assigned to the Fort Carson WTB who was critically wounded during deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom but worked his way forward to become a para-athlete.
    Army retired Staff Sgt. Gerardo Medrano was the event’s guest speaker and shared his account of how his life changed in an instant during his deployment to Iraq.

    “While on our way to our outpost, our Humvee was hit by a 6-array explosively formed penetrator,” said Medrano. “That, of course, is the day that my life and those around me changed-not knowing how your recovery is going to be or how long it would take. It can be tough to adjust to a new life.”

    Despite uncertainty, Medrano underwent 10 surgeries, an amputation and several skin grafts to get him back where he is now.

    With the assistance of the WTB and SFAC team members, Medrano was connected with Ride for Recovery, the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Operation Rebound, to propel him forward. Thanks to his perseverance and continued efforts to grow beyond his injuries, he is a gold medalist para-cyclist.

    In addition to meeting Medrano, guests had the chance to connect with fellow Soldiers on the road to recovery and those preparing for civilian life with the help of the Army’s continued support for wounded troops.

    “You will always be a Soldier for life,” said Handoe. “Whether in or out of the service, we will always take care of you.”



    Date Taken: 11.02.2018
    Date Posted: 11.10.2018 12:37
    Story ID: 299517
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US 

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