New American facility for wounded troops

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Sir_Prancealot, Jan 29, 2007.

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  1. SAN ANTONIO - Of the roughly 20,000 soldiers injured since the start of the Iraq war, more than 500 have lost a limb — many of them in roadside bombings.

    On Monday, a $50 million high-tech rehabilitation center opens that is designed to serve the growing number of soldiers who return from war as amputees or with severe burns.

    The 60,000-square-foot Center for the Intrepid will allow the Army to move its rehabilitation program out of the Brooke Army Medical Center and into a separate facility.

    "The Center for the Intrepid is going to let us keep advancing what we've been doing," said Maj. Stewart Campbell, the officer-in-charge of rehabilitation at Brooke.

    The facility tells soldiers "we're going to take care of you for as long as you need us, to get you back to where you want to be," he said.

    At Brooke, amputees were being treated in offices and facilities carved out of the larger hospital. The new facility includes a rock-climbing wall, wave pool and a 360-degree virtual reality sphere to help soldiers recover their balance and other basic skills.

    The center will be officially dedicated at a ceremony Monday. Sens. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., both 2008 presidential hopefuls, are scheduled to attend.

    Brooke's amputee program started two years ago and has about 50 patients, but the new center will allow it to expand and offer more advanced rehabilitation, Campbell said.

    Prior to the Iraq war, amputees were generally given acute care by the military and then turned over the Department of Veterans Affairs, said retired Col. Rebecca Hooper, program manager for the Center for the Intrepid. But since 2003, the military has kept those patients and made rehabilitation part of its mission.

    Amputee rehab programs are now being run at Brooke, Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

    Because the new Center for the Intrepid offers high-tech equipment and better facilities for severely injured soldiers, Hooper expects it to become a magnet for advanced amputee rehabilitation.

    The center was funded by private donations to the Intrepid Foundation, a charity that has built dozens of houses to shelter families of wounded soldiers while they undergo treatment.

    As part of the construction at Fort Sam Houston, two new houses have been added to two already there so that additional families could be housed near the center.

    Staff Sgt. Jon Arnold-Garcia, who lost part of a leg in a grenade attack, got his first look at the rehab center on Sunday.

    "This place is amazing, that the American people donated the money for this," said the 28-year-old from Sacramento, Calif.

    Arnold-Garcia has been in rehabilitation at Brooke since May, but he was anxious to get to work at the Center for the Intrepid, a four-story glass building decorated with art and modern decor.

    Arnold-Garcia and other amputees have been eyeing the rock climbing wall, visible through the glass. They have also heard about the wave pool, in which they can use wake boards to strengthen their back and stomach muscles.

    "It doesn't look like a hospital," Arnold-Garcia said, sitting in the center's cafe. "It's a place I can see myself getting up and being motivated instead of walking hospital hallways with doctors."
  2. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Makes the MoD's sorry attempts pale into insignificance.

    Money should be no object, I dont mind paying extra income tax to fund something in the UK.
  3. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

  4. Likewise.
  5. Is there a similar UK foundation / charity?
  6. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    BLESMA are a charity based on helping ex service personel who have lost limbs.

    Headley Court must be the closes the MoD have to a rehab centre.
  7. Prior to the Iraq war, amputees were generally given acute care by the military and then turned over the Department of Veterans Affairs, said retired Col.

    The fact that they have a Department for Veterans Affairs is quite something. We have the RBL (doing great charity work) and a couple of homeless charities like SCOPE. Not quite the same is it?

    "This place is amazing, that the American people donated the money for this," said the 28-year-old from Sacramento, Calif.

    Can't see Joe Public putting his hand in his pocket for us lot, can you?
  8. Does Headley Court have the capacity to deal with the number of casualties we are taking along with the non combat related injuries sustained by troops not deployed on ops ? $50 million does not seem a large amount for the american facility considering the £100's of millions wasted on the dome & other pet labour projects ,
  9. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Headley Court is featured in a RAF News centre spread in their Jan 5th edition, which is worth digging out.

    ( any of the gods on here give us a link to an e-copy ?)

    It's Tri-Service so a real mixture of trades and cap-badges on the staff .

    A friend of mine from there says there's a similar dit coming up in Soldier magazine shortly.

    This is a critical point in my view......because the site doesn't belong to MoD , it can never ( I hope ) be looked at with a view to selling it off to generate funds for some other underfunded scheme elsewhere around the defence estate...long may it continue !!

    Don Cabra
  10. Nothing precisely the same. The Intrepid Foundation was founded by New York's Fisher family. During the day, they're property developers. The rest of the time, they're a family dedicated to helping US servicemen. Zachary Fisher (deceased) saved the famous USS Intrepid from scrapping and turned her into the floating museum that houses a Concorde (and a Marine recruiting office); the ship is currently getting refitted in New Jersey and will return in late 2008.
    The Fisher family raises tons and tons and tons of money for other stuff, too. Zach Fisher's sons founded the Fallen Heroes fund, which helped facilitate the San Antonio hospital. They also run the Fisher Houses for wounded vets (a PPP that works!).
    Then, there are the scholarships for military children, various associations and the Alzheimers research center. The youngest grandson has even founded his own charity, called Future Heroes, to assist the underfunded ROTC commissioning programs. And all that's just the overt stuff.

    If you google the various charity names, you'll find the websites where you can donate money to the individual programs.