CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT)–Wounded Warrior Battalion-East celebrated 10 years of caring for wounded, ill, and injured Marines, Sailors, and their family members today.
What started out in 2005 as a barracks for 12 Marines recovering from their injuries grew into a full sized battalion by June 29, 2007, when WWBn-E was activated at Camp Lejeune. The idea came from now retired Marines Lt. Col. Tim Maxwell and Master Sgt. Kenneth Barnes, both of whom were recovering from injuries and looking for a way to encourage Marines to remain in the fight.
“We try to help them realize right off the bat that this new normal they’re dealing with isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a fact,” Lt. Col. Chris Hrudka, commanding officer of the battalion, said. “We help them embrace that and identify a way forward that’s meaningful to them and their family.”
Today, WWBn-E offers much more than a barracks to recover. Marines and Sailors assigned to the battalion are offered a campus-style environment with access to a full complement of services such as counseling, medical care management, physical reconditioning, and transition services. Upon assignment, they are assigned a Recovery Care Coordinator who assists them and their family in creating and maintaining a comprehensive recovery plan that outlines their individualized goals for recovery.
“This isn’t where they saw their career ending up and this isn’t what they planned for in their lives,” Lt. Col. Hrudka said.
Maj. Gen. Robert Dickerson (retired), Wounded Warrior Regiment’s first Commanding Officer Col. Gregg Boyle (retired), Wounded Warrior Battalion-East Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Chris Hrudka, Command Advisor Lt. Col. Craig Stephens (retired), Master Sgt. Kenneth Barnes (retired) and Mrs. Shannon Maxwell provided remarks during the ceremony.
WWBn-E is comprised of seven detachments and is responsible for all areas east of the Mississippi River as well as a detachment at San Antonio Military Medical Center in Texas and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. The battalion shares the mission and objectives of the Wounded Warrior Regiment and focuses on the whole Marine – mind, body, spirit, family – in addressing recovery needs.