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Letter to Airmen: Honoring our commitment to Wounded Warriors

  • Published
  • By Michael B. Donley
  • Secretary of the Air Force
Developing and caring for our Airmen and their families is a top priority. And no task is more important than ensuring our Wounded Warriors receive the services and support that they need throughout the recovery process. For this reason we are proud to support Secretary Gates' designation of November as Warrior Care Month. Our effort will highlight ways to access the many Warrior Care programs available to service members and their families.

Airmen are integral to Wounded Care, providing world-class medical care for those injured in combat zones and constant care during critical transportation to facilities around the globe. During my recent visit to Southwest Asia, I witnessed the intensity firsthand when I saw Airmen save the life of a victim seriously injured by an Improvised Explosive Device. It was a hard-hitting reminder of the dangers you face and the superb care you provide every day.

While we strive for increased awareness during this campaign, let us also be mindful of the work left to do. We must continue to eliminate any remnants of the stigma once associated with psychological health issues, and institute preventive measures to that end. There is no doubt that combat action leaves more than just the visible scars we often think of when discussing Warrior Care. It is our duty as Wingmen to understand the signs of combat-related stress and to do everything in our power to see our fellow Airmen and their families get the assistance they need. Programs like Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) support our Airmen through personalized care.

As we turn our focus to the upcoming holiday season, I hope that you will keep our Wounded Warriors and their families in your thoughts. Air Force families are essential to our success and willingly accept many of the same sacrifices we make as individuals. The families of wounded, ill or injured service members give even more as they take the journey toward recovery with their loved one. It is our solemn duty to keep our commitments to these Airmen and their families by providing the best possible care and support.