As National Brain Injury Awareness Month, the USO designates March as a key time to reflect on the sacrifices and injuries sustained by men and women in uniform and their families. In a recent news release, the Department of Defense reports that more than 26,000 troops were diagnosed as having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) last year alone.
Ed Shock, USO vice president of Warrior and Family Care emphasizes that what, “troops and their families need most are programs and services that provide them with the tools necessary to live healthy and happy lives and to know that America is here for them through every moment of their recovery…”
The USO reports that it seeks to support service men and women throughout their service, from the moment they join, through their deployments, and as they transition back to their communities. The organization adds that this month, it will host 29 opportunities to engage and support active duty troops, military families, and wounded ill and injured troops and their caregivers, as well as families of the fallen. The programs are reportedly designed to alleviate stress, build resiliency, and confidence and strengthen family bonds.
Access a complete list of 2014 USO Warrior and Family Care Programs and Services here
Programs provided this month include Writing Warriors Writing Workshops, a 12-hour workshop intended to allow troops, healing heroes, and military spouses to work with recognized thrill writers and learn the basics of writing professionally; developing a story, working with agents, publishers, and marketing. USO/Hire Heroes USA Workshops will also be held to help offer transitioning troops the skills and tools necessary to the civilian workforce.
Next month, the USO notes that it will also host its annual Caregivers Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 2-day conference is intended to provide caregivers to share their stories with peers, build support networks, and learn new skills and techniques to help them cope with the everyday nuances of bring a caregiver.
According to the USO, it is estimated that 300,000 troops have returned home from war with conditions that include TBI and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).