Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shoulder Recovery Update and WTU thoughts

I have been medically cleared by my surgeon and physical therapist to "return to duty", which for me means I can finish the demobilization process and return to civilian life. I have been warned that I will need to "watch it" with my shoulder and be disciplined about sticking with the PT program for at least 12 months. And the while the shoulder is much stronger, it still ain't right, so to speak.

So I expect in the next few weeks to wrap things up, clear my medical hold unit (the WTU), be returned to my Guard unit and go on terminal leave. Fortunately for me, I have found a good job and will start working right away. I want to thank everyone for their support while I've been stuck on this.

I also want to say that the cadre and staff in the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) have been excellent. The Army's WTU system has been getting some bad press lately, and while I can't speak for other WTU's or the specific charges made by other current/former Soldiers, it is my opinion that this is a vastly better system than what was in place previously, and I find it hard to believe any Soldier could fall through the cracks, failed to get the help and support they needed, or didn't have access to an incredible array of resources unless they (the Soldier) willed it so. I certainly can believe the charges recently made about excessive discipline, unfortunately the Army has Officers with that kind of mentality. I can also say from observation though, that many WTU Soldiers fail to show even the most basic motivation to get up in the morning and go to the appointments that will help them heal. Where is the line between the Army's responsibility and the Soldiers? Personally, I feel that Army should provide support and resources without resorting to coddling Soldiers - that does not help the Soldier at all, and in fact may worsen their self-esteem already damaged by not being back with their units. I don't have the answer, but I do believe that allowing Soldiers to sit around and cruise the Internet and play video games all day is worse for them than holding them to a personal plan of recovery and self development. That would not include of course police call and standing guard. What do you think?

All in all, my experience has been a very positive one, and I am grateful to the support from my surgeon, the post hospital, my case manager, and company cadre. Everything was fairly efficient, people were professional, and my personal needs and situation were taken into account when developing my recovery plan.

Up next: I have been working on drafting some Bosnia and Iraq stories, my goal is to publish about one a week. I also have something else I am preparing to launch in a week or two. Check back!


Anonymous said...


so so so so so so so so happy. yeah yeah no commas...I know. I said I was happy--not grammatically correct. xo

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

Hollllyyy Crap Grumpy, I thought you got be-headed after your last post about the honor killings...
I was going to do a post about telling everyone what a great guy you are and somebody should hire you because you're so brite and all...but I guess I won't have to...but I might write one about the shitty Medical Holding Asshole Group at Ft Screwus WA. When I saw how some of our lads were being treated there when we de-mobed, I told them I'd go home and go to the VA or something.
That place made Iraq look good.
E-mail me and let me know what job you got...or call me.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're doing so well...and found a good job. :) That's good news indeed!

looking forward to your stories...

Anonymous said...

Good news on the healing and upcoming job. Prayers that all goes well for you through the rest of your transition. Your service has been appreciated.
Semper Fi,

Jane said...

Sgt. Grumpy,
I am so glad that you have made the transition. I do a lot of work with the various veteran organizations in Las Vegas and am finding out that the transition units are different for each branch. We have the air force out here and from the people I have talked to, they have a good unit. Keep up the pt and I bet your shoulderwill get better. And Fu Manchu is right. Your service is appreciated.