RAF MILDENHALL, ENG, UNITED KINGDOM
by Master Sgt. Kevin Wallace
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- The second 48th Medical Group New Horizons class is scheduled to begin April 5 and will offer improved counseling for the personal well-being and long-term healing of wounded airmen.
New Horizons was launched as a 48th MDG Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Group pilot program, and nine airmen from RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath attended the 10-week program from Oct. 25 through Dec. 30, 2011.
The first New Horizons group met weekly. The new group will meet twice a week for five weeks, and will be held inside the clinic, so that providers can take a therapeutic approach, if needed.
All members who attended the first program were wounded or received traumatic brain injuries in combat or from a hostile force, and suffered post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The 48th MDG incorporated feedback from their test group and will continue to improve the program for future wounded warriors, said Sharron O'Garro, 48th MDG case manager and organizer of the evolving program.
An array of speakers and subject-matter experts are scheduled to speak to the wounded warriors.
Some topics covered will be emotional regulation, anger, sleep hygiene, relationships, community readiness, fundamentals of change and positive thinking, PTSD, and mental health management.
The wounded warriors are also scheduled for a teleconference with the Randolph Air Force Base, Texas,-based Wounded Warrior Program.
"Our main focus is on the wounded warriors," said O'Garro. "We're here to educate them, help them heal and make sure they receive professional support and care from the time they're injured or identified as a wounded warrior, through separation, retirement and the rest of their lives."
Once identified as a wounded warrior, airmen are assigned an individual advocate at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, and personalized services and counseling through the nearest Airman and Family Readiness Center.
According to the AFW2 Public Affairs office, there's no difference in care provided for active-duty, Guard or Reserve airmen.
"We will expedite the medical evaluation process if a wounded warrior chooses to separate from active duty," states the AFW2 website. "Strong emphasis is placed on ensuring wounded airmen receive professional, individualized guidance and support to help them successfully navigate their way through the complex process of transitioning out of the Air Force and returning to civilian life."
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This work, Second, improved New Horizons group to begin April 5, by SMSgt Kevin Wallace, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.