Caregivers, National Guard, reserve support, and sports are top Defense Department priorities for wounded warriors and their families, said top officials last week at the 2012 Warrior-Family Symposium. APTA has participated in each of the 6 annual Warrior-Family Symposiums. This year the association sponsored the event's breakfast.
The September 12 symposium, titled Saluting Their Sacrifice: A Decade of Challenges and Triumphs for Our Wounded Heroes and Their Families, expanded on previous forums and efforts over the last 5 years to improve the physical, psychological, and well being of service members and their families. Programming focused on addressing the concerns and challenges facing wounded warriors and families/caregivers and helping those in attendance prepare to retire or transition to their new life, as veterans and citizens outside the military.
Lunch keynote speaker VA Secretary Eric Shinseki spoke about issues facing returning service members, such as substance abuse, homelessness, and posttraumatic stress disorder, and explained what the VA is doing about these issues.
Reception keynote speaker Lt Gen Patricia D. Horoho, USA, surgeon general and commanding general, US Army Medical Command, spoke about role of the command in meeting wounded warriors' needs.
The day culminated in a Recognition-Transition Ceremony, honoring and celebrating the service and sacrifice of all service members wounded and disabled over the last decade.