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Warrior Recovery Center (USO photo)
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Kandahar Warrior Recovery Center, USO Relaxation Room Provide Crucial 'in Country' Care

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

By Christian Pelusi 

The USO strives to give deployed troops touches of home in even the most remote parts of the world to provide servicemen and women a mental and physical break from their duties. And that goal is spreading to other areas of the military support structure.

The Kandahar Warrior Recovery Center (WRC) is a comprehensive clinic that performs case management for traumatic brain injuries (TBI), wound and injury care, nonemergency care (neurology, sports injury, orthopedic), behavioral care and chaplain services. Opened on Feb. 12, the WRC contains 64 beds in 32 rooms but is also large enough to welcome hundreds of walk-ins. It’s designed to help those carried off the battlefield to those that need stress counseling during their deployment.

The WRC, operated by the U.S. military, is more than just one building. It's a compound that is comprised of six two-story buildings, each sitting on an 8,500-square-foot pad. The initial thought behind construction of the WRC, according to USO Kandahar Center Manager Richard McCarty, was linked directly to a troop's mindset after incurring an injury in theatre.

"The medical care is closely tied into the mental [and] emotional care and the idea is to keep those wounded in battle in country so they can keep the mindset of a deployed servicemen rather than recovering back in Germany where the change of location could cause some unnecessary stresses when they are eventually returned to duty in Afghanistan," McCarty said.

The WRC also features a USO Relaxation Room (pictured at left), run by the USO, for recovering troops which offers areas to watch movies, play video games, sit at a desk, use the free WiFi or just decompress on one of the six leather couches.

Staff Sergeant and USO volunteer Jennifer S. Adams-Ward runs the relaxation room and says that the facility and relaxation room give wounded, injured and ill troops a great starting point on their road to recovery.

"They feel safe because of our security measures that we have in place and the results of satisfaction surveys state: 'I really feel cared for,' " Staff Sgt. Adams-Ward said. "We have code locks to protect our doors, curfews to ensure they sleep because rest and relaxation is one of the biggest contributing factors to healing."

As an assistant case manager, senior medic and non-commissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Adams-Ward cherishes her role.

"I am so proud and honored that I am able to provide care for these troops and make them feel safe and comfortable and we finally have the ability to address all their needs and quality of life to help facilitate their healing process," she said. "I see everyone when they come in and assess every need from head to toe to ensure I can provide them the best care possible."

Help to provide resources that can ensure continued care for wounded, ill and injured troops by considering a donation today.  

Related Links: 

* See more photos of the WRC on the USO Kandahar Facebook page.  

* Watch a short video of the new WRC.

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