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SECNAV names November Warrior Care Month
by Patty Babb, Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In ALNAV 077/13, released Nov. 8 to all Navy and Marine Corps personnel, the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) designated November 2013 as Warrior Care Month.

"Providing assistance to seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and their families is a top priority for the Navy," said SECNAV Ray Mabus. "We take care of our own - including active-duty, Reserve and veteran Sailors and Marines."

Warrior Care Month is a joint-service event that recognizes wounded warriors - as well as those who care for them - for their service, sacrifices and achievements. It also is an opportunity to raise awareness of the resources available to service members should illness or injury strike unexpectedly.

One especially critical resource is Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor, the Navy's support program for seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailor and Coast Guardsmen. The program - a department within Fleet and Family Readiness at Commander, Navy Installations Command - has assisted nearly 2,500 service members and their families since its inception.

"NWW [is] part of an extensive catalog of Navy programs that enhance the mental, physical and emotional health of service members," said Mabus. "[It] provide[s] the gold standard of non-medical care to wounded warriors and their families, offering resources that promote healing and opportunities for success, both within and beyond military service."

The theme of Warrior Care Month 2013 is "Warrior Care - Building a Ready and Resilient Force." Promoting readiness and resiliency ensures that wounded warriors can cope with adversity - on the front lines or at home. To that end, NWW offers many essential services, including connecting families to respite care resources; addressing pay and personnel issues; assisting with housing and transportation adaptation; providing transition assistance; offering adaptive athletics opportunities; and more.

"Oftentimes, NWW serves as a key link between the Navy and a Sailor who is recovering away from his command," said NWW Deputy Director Merissa Larson. "Our program addresses whatever non-medical needs surface, which allows seriously wounded, ill and injured service members and their families to focus on healing without distractions."

NWW non-medical care providers are located at major military treatment facilities throughout the continental United States. They collaborate closely with the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), which provides expert restorative and rehabilitative medical care for wounded warriors. Additionally, BUMED's FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) Project and the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control help service members and their families grapple with operational stress before, during and after deployment.

During Warrior Care Month, SECNAV Mabus urges the Navy family to become more familiar with the many programs available to seriously wounded, ill and injured service members, and to join him in saluting wounded warriors and those who care for them.

"Our commitment to seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Marines, as well as their families and caregivers, is unwavering," he said. "I encourage all Navy personnel to take an opportunity during Warrior Care Month to join me in expressing our heartfelt gratitude and support."

For more information about Warrior Care Month activities, visit or

To learn more about Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor and other resources for wounded warriors, contact 855-NAVY WWP (855-628-9997) or

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