MWR Exchange Vacations Joins Forces With Operation R&R

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MWR Exchange Vacations, powered by Government Vacation Rewards is pleased to announce their affiliation with Operation R&R. MWR Exchange Vacations already offers military families a way to relax, reconnect and rejuvenate their relationships by offering the best deals in the business. Now, by partnering with Operation R&R, MWR Exchange Vacations can help provide no cost and low cost getaways for deserving military families and the families of deceased service members.

Operation R&R is a non-profit organization, founded in 2008 by Dr. Grant Evans. Dr. Evans started the program by donating his vacation home in Hilton Head, S.C. for use by military families. Today, Operation R&R has helped more than 1,200 military families experience their dream getaways on Hilton Head Island.

What began as one man opening his home has turned into a colossal charitable movement, one that benefits members of the military community. More than 500 hotels, property owners, restaurants, and other getaway-related industries have joined together for this cause. Until this year, Operation R&R was only able to provide benefits for local families. But now, MWR Exchange Vacations has allied with the cause, helping to make Operation R&R accessible to even more military members.

One of the newest Operation R&R events is the upcoming vacation for a group 18 military mothers, all of whom lost their only child due to service-related deaths. These women belong to the Gold Star Mothers Club, named for the gold star that families traditionally hang in their windows to honor their fallen service member. These mothers, having lost their only children, named their more exclusive offshoot group “Gold Star One and Only.”

From May 11-18, the mothers of Gold Star One and Only will take part in a much needed vacation together, courtesy of Operation R&R. These mothers of fallen warriors come from all over the country. While some are battling depression, they are all suffering through the pain and grief of having lost their only child. The Gold Star One and Only mothers will be treated to a week of relaxation, extravagance and escape. While there are some events planned for the week, a lot of the time has been purposefully left open for the mothers to enjoy the beaches, restaurants, culture and atmosphere of Hilton Head.

Through Operation R&R and its affiliates, including MWR Exchange Vacations, these mothers will experience a fellowship with each other, sharing a much needed getaway. The mothers of Gold Star One and Only will be met and greeted by members of the local chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

MWR Exchange Vacations, powered by Government Vacation Rewards, offers all members of the U.S. military, their family members and eligible government employees the best prices on travel and vacation packages. MWR Exchange Vacations remains the only online travel site that accepts the Military Star Card. Government Vacation Rewards is proudly affiliated with Operation R&R, furthering their efforts to provide low cost vacations to military families.

MWR Exchange Vacations, Government Vacation Rewards, Operation R&R, Gold Star One and Only, Gold Star families

Military Connection: The Warrior-Scholar Project: by Debbie Gregory

Warrior Scholar

By Debbie Gregory.

Every year, approximately 200,000 service members separate from the U.S. armed forces. The majority of these Veterans take advantage of their VA education benefits, commonly referred to as GI Bills. For decades, Veterans seeking to cash in on their hard-earned college tuitions have been forced to blaze their own path through the often daunting tasks of applying for benefits, enrolling in school and succeeding on campus. Going on its third year, the Warrior-Scholar Project has been empowering Veterans to realize their full potential as students.

The Warrior-Scholar Project contends that military Veterans not only possess the necessary skills to succeed on the campuses of prestigious universities, but that they are capable of being student leaders among their classmates. Despite the fact that many Veterans are several years removed from any form of rigorous academic endeavors, the organizers of the Warrior-Scholar Project believe that the motivation to achieve mission accomplishment, honed through their military service, drives Veterans to academic success.

The Warrior-Scholar Project was co-founded by Jesse Reising, Chris Howell and Nick Rugoff. The concept for the organization was sparked when Reising, a Marine Corps Officer Candidate, was recuperating from an injury he sustained during a football game between Yale and Harvard. The injury ended Reising’s military career. But the support that he received during that time prompted Reising, now project Chairman, and his two other co-founders to provide similar support for the men and women who served and are now using their Veteran education benefits.

The project’s concept was further refined by co-founder and Executive Director of the Warrior-Scholar Project, Chris Howell. Howell is a nine year Veteran of the Australian Army. When he separated from the military and was set to go to college, Howell’s brother David prepared a crash course that equipped Howell with the necessary information and resources to transition from the military to academics. The founders of the Warrior-Scholar Project seek to prepare similar experiences for all who have served.

The Warrior-Scholar Project is an intensive two week-long workshop where Veterans attend courses and discussions led by current Veteran studentswho have already made the transition, as well as school administrators and university professors on topics that include:

  • Academic reading and writing
  • Adapting to changed social circumstances
  • Translating skills used and acquired in the military to the college environment

In the results of a 2014 survey of the Veterans who have participated in the Warrior-Scholar Project, 100% of them answered that the program made them feel better equipped for college. 87% of the Veterans who attended said that they strongly agreed that they have performed better because of their participation in the Warrior-Scholar Project. And 100% of the Veterans said that they would recommend the program to other Vets.

“After completing the Warrior-Scholar Project, Veterans think of themselves not only as Veterans, but as student-Veterans, or more aptly—as Warrior-Scholars—and they have the tools to find a new mission and build a new identity after life in the military.” Reising said in a testimonial before a Congressional sub-committee on April 10, 2014.

This year’s sessions will be held:

June 7th–22nd at Yale University.

July 5th–12th at Harvard University

July 20th–28th at the University of Michigan

The Warrior-Scholar Project functions under the Operation Opportunity Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The program is propelled primarily by private funding from individual donors. If you would like to contribute to the Warrior-Scholar Project, please follow this link: http://www.warrior-scholar.org/donate.aspx

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Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard &amp, Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: The Warrior-Scholar Project: by Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: VA Claims Unpaid: By Debbie Gregory

VA Claims Unpaid

By Debbie Gregory.

It is required by federal law under the Millennium Health Care Act that the any emergency medical expenses accrued by Disabled Veterans must be covered by the VA. Even costs of care for treatment from events that aren’t service related, such as car accidents, must be paid for by the federal government if the Veteran is uninsured, has been recently treated by the VA or is enrolled in VA healthcare. If the entitled Disabled Veterans are treated at a VA medical facility, obviously, they should be covered. But in an emergency situation, even if they are treated at a private hospital, the VA is required to cover the cost.

Recently, investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that a series of errors committed by multiple arms of the VA could be a seen as a sign of a more wide-spread problem. The GAO reviewed a sample of 128 claims made by non-VA hospitals in 2012 seeking reimbursements which were later denied by the VA. The GAO investigators discovered at least one mistake in more than 60 of the claims.

The claims were originally brought to four VA medical facilities, spanning across the country: Black Hills VA Health Care System in South Dakota, the North Texas VA Health Care System, White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont, and the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center. The consistency of mistakes, given the size of the facilities and their different geographic locations, could be telling of a bigger problem within the organization, its staff and their training.

The list of errors made by VA staff included routing claims to incorrect VA facilities, incorrectly determining that Veterans were ineligible, failing to promptly date-stamp the claims, and sending claims to the wrong payment office. Overall, many of the VA claims processors were just plain sloppy.

In more than forty of the cases, the investigators found evidence that VA employees never informed the Disabled Veterans that their medical expenses would not be covered by the VA. This left some Veterans unaware of their rights concerning appeals. The private hospitals went on to bill the Disabled Veterans directly when the VA did not reimburse them.

To be clear, the Disabled Veterans who made the claims are not a wealthy bunch. And these are Veterans who most likely would have to travel a great distance to the nearest VA healthcare facility.

The Millennium Act was created to prevent Disabled Veterans from trying to trek long distances to the nearest VA hospital when they need emergency treatment. It is a shame that these Veterans were not better served. They deserve better.

This article is not intended to condemn the VA. After all, the VA estimates it will spend approximately $580 million on benefits under the Millennium Act in 2015. But there is a deficiency in this process that needs to be addressed. The VA has already paid claims in 25 of the cases uncovered by GAO. And they are revamping their training for their claims processors.

Most importantly, this article is intended to raise awareness for other Disabled Veterans that they have protection under the law for their emergency healthcare costs.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran Education. MilitaryConnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit MilitaryConnection.com.

Military Connection: VA Claims Unpaid: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: CalVet Women Veterans Nominations: By Debbie Gregory

Women Veterans Conference

By Debbie Gregory.

This August 24th and 25th, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) will be hosting the 2014 California Veterans Conference: Summit on Women Veterans. This years conference will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, located at 230 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

More than 185,000 Women Veterans currently reside in California. Many of California’s Women Veterans have become leaders in their communities, businesses and industries. Many Women Veterans own their own businesses, lead charitable organizations and are advocates for worthy causes.

Included in the conference will be an award ceremony to honor some of California’s Women Veterans for their roles in bettering the state for current and future Women Veterans. There will be three awards given:

California Outstanding Volunteer Award: This award recognizes a non-Veteran volunteer who donated their time and talents for the betterment of California’s Women Veterans. To be eligible, nominees must be a resident of California, must be a non-Veteran and cannot have won any of CalVet’s three conference awards last year.

California Woman Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award: This award recognizes a Woman Veteran who has displayed a record of exemplary service and leadership either in the military, as a Veteran or in her community. To be eligible, nominees must be a resident of California, must be a Veteran and cannot have won any of CalVet’s three conference awards last year.

California Woman Veteran of the Year Award: This award recognizes a Woman Veteran who has displayed exemplary service and leadership either in the military, as a Veteran or in her community within the past year. To be eligible, nominees must be a resident of California, must be a Veteran and cannot have won any of CalVet’s three conference awards last year.

Nominations are currently open and are open until June 5th.

Further information on awards and nomination forms can be found in the hyperlinks for each award description and by visiting www.calvet.ca.gov

Anyone in California who is interested in nominating their worthy Woman Veterans should submit completed nomination forms to CalVet Women Veterans by email to womenveterans@calvet.ca.gov, or by fax to 916-653-2456 or by mail to CalVet Women Veterans 1227 O Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Nominate today!

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. MilitaryConnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit MilitaryConnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: CalVet Women Veterans Nominations: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Gary Sinise Foundation to Aid CA Wounded Veteran: By Debbie Gregory

lt-dan-band-may-2014

By Debbie Gregory.

Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band are going to pick up where California school students left off in providing assistance for a local wounded Veteran. The actor, as famous for his movie roles as he is for his charitable acts for Veterans, donated $60,000 and is putting on a concert on May 10th, at Lancaster, CA’s JetHawks Stadium.

Many Americans spend their 21st birthdays celebrating and drinking with friends. Army Spc. Jerral Hancock spent his birthday serving in Iraq. Like many Americans, Hancock’s birthday is one that he’ll never forget. Unfortunately it is for all the wrong reasons. On that day, May 28, 2007, the tank that Hancock was driving was struck by a bomb and he lost one arm, lost the use of his legs and was severely burned over most of his body.

Upon his medical retirement from the Army, Hancock moved back home to Lancaster, CA, a city in Northern Los Angeles County, in the Mojave Desert. He lives in a trailer with his two small children and is helped by his parents who live across the street. Hancock has been welcomed home as a hero and proudly appears and speaks at patriotic functions and local schools.

It was at a session where Hancock spoke to students at Lancaster High School that the students learned that his trailer was not handicap accessible and that the Veteran could not maneuver his wheelchair through most of his home. The students took it upon themselves to try and aid their local war hero.

The students at Lancaster High take on yearly campaigns to raise money for Veteran causes. It is reported that teens usually raise up to $30,000 each year through fundraising events. This year, perhapsdue to the necessity of their cause, the students have raised much, much more.

Since May of 2013, the students have raised more than $180,000 with the intention of using the money to build Hancock a new home that is handicap accessible. They are calling their campaign “All the Way Home.” It is reported that the students closed escrow on the property last November and have begun construction. While they have accomplished so much for their cause, there is still much further to go in order to reach their $500,000 goal needed to complete the new home for Hancock and his family. Enter Gary Sinise.

Earlier this month, the “Forrest Gump” actor announced that his Gary Sinise Foundation and Lt. Dan Band would be supporting “All the Way Home” with a concert to help achieve their goal. The students promised to work to find sponsors for the concert and sell 3,500 tickets by May.

For more information about All the Way Home, visit their Facebook page.

Or click HERE for more information & to buy tickets for the May 10 concert. Tickets range between $35 and $50.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran Education. MilitaryConnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit MilitaryConnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Gary Sinise Foundation to Aid CA Wounded Veteran: By Debbie Gregory

More Veterans Pursuing Advanced Degrees: M.B.A. Top Choice

School of Business

By Debbie Gregory.

As the Post-9/11 GI Bill advances to its five year mark this summer, we are seeing more and more Veterans completing their Bachelor’s degrees and undergraduate studies and considering moving on towards advanced degrees. Among of the most popular pursuits for Veterans, pursuing graduate level academics are Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees.

Many military Veterans venture into the study of business because they are proven leaders with unmatched experience in prioritizing, assigning and delegating tasks based on their employees’ skillsets. Veterans are also used to developing simple, realistic and effective solutions to even the most complicated problems, while using up a minimum amount of funding and resources.  Carrying an attractive skillset, many Veterans are seeking business school educations to complete the package.

Along with the number of Veterans who want to change their camouflage uniforms for business suits as a means to work in lucrative careers, are the increasing numbers of business schools who are discovering that Veterans are ideal business school candidates. Many business schools are aware of the skillsets that military Veterans possess and are further enticed by the fact that so many Veterans are using their Post-9/11 GI Bills, meaning guaranteed tuition payments.

At the top of many M.B.A. school lists for Veterans is MilitaryConnection.com’s Veteran School Salute Award winner, D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. Not only does the school provide excellent academic programs for all of its students, but the school has a history treating students from the military community with unparalleled service. Veteran students interested in DYC should visit D’Youville College’s Veteran Affairs Office webpage.

M.B.A. programs require students to proceed with more rigorous, in-depth studies of the various skill-areas of business such as: accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and operations management.

While advanced degrees don’t guarantee jobs or advanced careers, much of what is learned, and more importantly practiced, in M.B.A. programs can lay the foundation for an executive level career in business. Another major perk to any advanced degree programs are the networking contacts that you make while attending, including the professors and your fellow students. Students looking into MBA programs would be wise to view their perspective school and program’s success record online. If your potential M.B.A. program has a proven track record of generating successful individuals, you degree will carry more clout with future employers and you will be more likely to add successful contacts to your network.

Veteran students seeking to obtain an M.B.A. would be wise to evaluate their GI Bill benefits and see how much of the benefit they can put towards their advanced degree.  There are also scholarships available for Veteran students through various Veteran groups, individual schools and local communities.

Medal of Honor to be Awarded to Former Army Sgt.

Sgt White

By Debbie Gregory.

Recently, the White House announced that President Obama will be awarding the Medal of Honor to former Army SergeantKyle J. White for his actions during armed conflict in Afghanistan on November 9, 2007.

Sgt. White was assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, as a radio-telephone operator. White’s platoon was ambushed by a larger Taliban force. During the initial salvo of the ambush, White was knocked unconscious by the blast of a rocket powered grenade.

“There was one shot, you know, down into the valley, and then it was two shots, and then it was full-automatic fire and RPGs … it was coming from multiple directions,” White recalled, as reported in an Army news release.

When he came-to, White realized that most of his Platoon had moved to a safer location and that he was one of only a few left alive in the area. White found Spc. Kain Schilling with a gunshot wound in his arm. White and Schilling were able to take cover behind a tree, where White performed first aid. White needed to utilize a tourniquet to stop Schilling’s bleeding.

White spotted Sgt. Philip Bocks about 30 feet away from his position. Sgt. Bocks was severely wounded and lying out in the open. White made four trips, sprinting through hostile fire before he was able to deliver Sgt. Bocks out of the direct line of fire. Despite White’s valiant efforts, Sgt. Bocks later died of his wounds.

Not long after retrieving Sgt. Bocks, Spc. Schilling was again hit, this time by small arms fire in the leg. White applied his belt as a tourniquet, saving Schilling’s life for a second time.

Later, White spotted his platoon leader, 1st Lt. Matthew Ferrara, nearby. White again, braved the hail of bullets to reach the officer. When White reached his platoon leader, he saw that Lt. Ferrara was already dead. White then crawled back to his position with Schilling.

From there, White began using his radio to call for help. Taliban gunfire blew the radio’s hand-mic out of his hands. The shot disabled White’s radio. White then used Sgt. Bocks’ radio to call in air strikes, artillery, mortars and helicopters to suppress the enemy force. One of the mortar rounds that he called in gave White his second concussion of the battle when it landed too close to his position.

After dark, when it was finally safe enough to do so, White marked the landing zone for friendly helicopters and assisted the air crews with hoisting other Americans and friendly Afghans to safety. It is reported that White would not board the helicopter until everyone else was poised for evacuation.

At the end of the battle, six U.S. service members were dead. There is a good chance that the number would have been higher if it weren’t for White’s actions.

The 27 year old Seattle, Washington native separated from the Army on July 8, 2011. White will be presented with the nation’s highest military honor on May 13, 2014 at the white house.

Choosing a School for Your GI Bill Benefits? Consider This

GI Bill

By Debbie Gregory.

Currently, over a million Veteran students are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill to complete their academic goals and prepare for successful careers.  Thousands of Veterans are also currently using other Veteran education benefits. Most Veterans have no issues applying for, obtaining, and using their VA education benefits. But there are thousands of Veteran students who have found obstacles along the way that impede their pathway to success.

There is a reason why schools have to be approved by the VA in order for you to use your benefits there. With the increasing number of Veterans arriving at college campuses across the country, there are institutions that seek to profit from them, offering Veterans very little, in the way of education, for their benefits.

That is why the VA has established the Principles of Excellence program. The schools in this program are schools that:

  • Provide students with a personalized form, covering the total cost of an education program
  • Provide educational plans for all military and Veteran education beneficiaries
  • End fraudulent and aggressive recruiting techniques and misrepresentations
  • Accommodate Service members and Reservists absent due to service requirements
  • Designate a point of contact to provide academic and financial advice
  • Ensure accreditation of all programs prior to enrolling students
  • Align institutional refund policies with those under Title IV, which govern the administration of federal student financial aid programs

Schools that are recognized by the VA as a Principles of Excellence institution offer extra personal incentive for Veteran students to attend there. Most Veteran students will find it easier to enroll and attend a school where there are fewer hassles in the process. Schools in the program have created a proven history of providing for the Veteran students who enroll there.

Veterans who are researching schools to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill can research their institutions by using the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool. This extremely useful resource will allow Veterans to input their benefit and desired school and see the amount of tuition the school charges, monthly housing allowance for the school’s zip code, and the amount of book stipend the Vet is entitled to. The Comparison Tool also informs the Veteran if the school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program and the Principles of Excellence Program and how many Veteran students are currently enrolled there.

Veterans who are looking to go back to school, should be sure to utilize the VA’s GI Bill Comparison tool. They certainly should take into particular consideration the tuition and monthly cost. But Veterans should also include in their decision whether or not the school is a member of the Principles of Excellence program and how many Veterans attend their school. It would be a shame to enroll in a school, only to find that you have little to no support as a Veteran using the GI Bill.

Are You Honoring the U.S. Flag?

honorin

By Military Connection Staff Writer Joe Silva.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who is both an elementary school teacher and a military spouse. She told me that once a month at her school they hold an assembly and invite the parents to attend. Each assembly begins by raising the flag to the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” and by saying the Pledge of Allegiance once the flag is raised. The teacher told me that every week adults can be seen without their hands over their heart; walking, moving, sitting and talking during the raising of the flag and not saying the pledge.

We live in the United States of America. Our citizens are not forced to participate in patriotic acts. On the contrary, our citizens are not only free to abandon patriotism, but they can also hold views that oppose the government.  While our liberty and our freedom is what makes our way of life so great, I’m afraid that too many of our citizens take their freedom for granted and ignore the actions and sacrifices made to secure and protect those rights for them.

As a Veteran and as an American I am disappointed that more citizens do not show more national pride for the country they live in. In talking with my teacher friend and other members of the military community we reasoned that the public just isn’t made aware that what they’re doing is disrespectful and wrong. As Veterans, we can assume the patriotic duty of flag waving and encouraging citizens to participate in patriotic observances on behalf of our country and our comrades that are currently serving.

Provided below is wording from the United States Code that outlines the role of Patriotic Societies and Observances: 36 Code § 301 National Anthem:

(a) Designation.— The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

(b) Conduct During Playing.— During a rendition of the national anthem—

(1) when the flag is displayed—

(A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;

(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and

(C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and

(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

 

Veterans: In the course of your lives, when you see the flag raised, lowered or honored, please show the proper respect. Others may follow your example, after seeing the proper way to act.

The USO Opened Warrior and Families Center at Bethesda’s Walter Reed

USO Center

By Debbie Gregory.

Service members who are critically injured in war, training accidents and calamities like car accidents often spend many months in treatment and recovery at military hospitals. One of the largest and most used facilities is the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), which is comprised of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Walter Reed has gone to great lengths to remove negative opinions about long-term military medical care. But any person who spends months in any hospital will grow stir-crazy and grow weary of the cold and unwelcoming feel of their sterilized accommodations.

The United Service Organizations (USO) recently opened a new facility at the Naval Support Activity Bethesda, which houses the WRNMMC. The USO’s new Warrior and Families Center is the second such center that the USO has opened. The first Warrior and Families Center was opened at Fort Belvoir, Virginia last year.

The USO is mainly known by service members for its airport lounges and entertainment tours. However the organization has been a constant presence at the Walter Reed center throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USO believes that the need to provide ongoing care for injured, ill and wounded service members will continue, even after the war in Afghanistan ends.

The USO provides these state-of-the-art centers for wounded service members who are being treated at the Walter Reed complex, and their families. They are meant to serve as a place where the recovering wounded can relax with their families and escape from the hospital’s sterile environment, while still remaining close to the medical care that they require.

The Warrior and Families Center was built alongside the long-term patient barracks. This area of the facility is where recovering service members often live for up to 24 months at a time while undergoing numerous treatments and surgeries. The 16,000 square-foot USO facility is equipped with dozens of private spaces which provide support and comfort for service members and their families who are treated at Walter Reed.

Along with beneficial programs like physical rehab, family counseling and employment consultation, the Warrior and Families Center offers spaces for families to relax and visit with their wounded warrior. These visiting spaces include a fireside lounge, music & arts centers, kitchen & dining areas, and an NFL lounge that is also stocked with video games.

The Warrior and Family Center was dedicated in honor of former USO National Campaign Chairman Prescott S. Bush, who raised $210 million for the organization in the early 1940s. Along with being a WWI Veteran and USO fundraiser, Bush is the father of former President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of former President George W. Bush.