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Air Force Wounded Warrior Program
/ Published May 10, 2022
The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2), administered by the Air Force Personnel Center, selected Peterson-Schriever Garrison to host the first Warrior Caregiver Support, Adaptive Sports and Ambassador Workshop, Recovering Airman Mentorship Program and Resiliency Programming, and Empowerment in Transition (CARE) event at a U.S. Space Force base, 16-20 May, 2022 at Peterson Space Force Base.
This AFW2 event highlights more than 120 Wounded Warriors and Caregivers participating in the multi-day, holistic event.
“We are very excited to host our Wounded Warriors for this event,” said U.S. Space Force Col. Shay Warakomski, P-S GAR commander. “It’s a great opportunity to show our Airmen and Guardians there is a program to help them if they ever find themselves wounded, ill or injured. I really look forward to meeting the team from AFW2 and learning more about what they have to offer our service members.”
AFW2 will introduce wounded, ill and injured Airmen, Guardians and their caregivers, from across the globe to the full spectrum of support programs managed by the program.
Recovering service members will attend adaptive sports training and competitions to include: archery, cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and more. Caregivers and other Wounded Warriors will have the opportunity to learn new resilience skills through music, photography, improvisation and journaling.
“This is a fully holistic event, offering our program population access to programs they may not realize they needed,” said Walt Myhre, AFW2 Support Program section lead. “While most people see the sports first because they are fast and exciting, there are so many other elements offered.”
AFW2 provides resources for Wounded Warriors and Caregivers searching for their next career through our workshops with Empowerment in Transition, while also educating the local Guardians through our Ambassador and Outreach Program sharing the first-hand experience of incredibly resilient and resurgent Airmen and Guardians, explained Myhre.
“We also have a fantastic Recovering Airman Mentorship Program designed to pair someone with a mentor early in their recovery to shepherd them through the process,” said Myhre. “We are ever mindful to connect our population to local support through a robust Community Programs effort as well.”
Guardians are welcome to come out and meet Wounded Warriors, Caregivers and AFW2 staff during the event. The best chance to really make an impact on those attending the CARE event would be to come out to the Peterson Fitness Center, May 20 starting at noon.
AFW2 will host scrimmages starting with wheelchair rugby, a fast-paced, exciting sport offered at all levels of competition up to, and including, the Department of Defense Warrior Games.
Scrimmages in wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball will immediately follow wheelchair rugby.
“Wounded Warriors don’t have to regularly use a wheelchair to play these sports,” said Derrick Lepper, AFW2 Adaptive Sports program manager. “We adapt the sport so anyone, no matter their wounds, illnesses or injuries is able to participate. It’s all about showing them what they can do versus what they can’t do, modifying a sport to enhance their recovery and to build independence and confidence.”
Immediately following the scrimmages there will be a closing celebration featuring a musical performance by Rock to Recovery, a non-profit organization formed by former Korn guitarist Wesley Geer.
“This is going to be an out of this world event.” said Myhre. “We’re looking forward to bringing our program to Guardians at all levels, to educate them and demonstrate, in-person how it can help.”
Learn more about the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program at their website www.woundedwarrior.af.mil and check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.