Resources for wounded warriors with major traumatic limb loss.
Web sites (Usage)
McFarland, Lynne V.
Choppa, Anthony J.
Pruden, Jonathan D.
Reiber, Gayle E.
|Publication:||Name: Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development Publisher: Department of Veterans Affairs Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs ISSN: 0748-7711|
|Issue:||Date: July-August, 2010 Source Volume: 47 Source Issue: 4|
|Topic:||Event Code: 360 Services information Computer Subject: Company Web site/Web page|
|Product:||Product Code: 8380000 Nonprofit Institutions; 8300000 Social Services & Nonprofit Institutns NAICS Code: 813 Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations; 624 Social Assistance|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
Servicemembers and veterans who experience major limb loss are provided assistance in recovery and rehabilitation but are often frustrated when it comes to finding resources to help them along the way. More than 850 servicemembers and veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom/ Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF)  and more than 2,500 from the Vietnam war  have major limb loss. Many organizations are available to provide assistance and resources to these men and women. The needs of the servicemembers and veterans vary by level of limb loss, severity of other injuries and comorbidities, stage of rehabilitation, need for financial support, benefits, and many other factors. Fortunately, many agencies established services for servicemembers and veterans with major limb loss.
This article identifies information sources for individuals with major limb loss as follows: (1) resources for military personnel, (2) resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), (3) other resources for veterans, (4) resources for family members, and (5) resources in the public domain. Five detailed tables identify the agencies, their contact information, and services available for each category. These resources were considered helpful by the participants of the Survey for Prosthetic Use (Appendix 1, available online only) and the Expert Panel members (Appendix 2, available online only); are known by us to support servicemembers, veterans, and others with limb loss; and are in the public domain. This list is not all-inclusive; resources and organizations change rapidly.
RESOURCES FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL
Numerous support systems are in place for servicemembers with traumatic limb loss while on Active Duty--notably, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC; Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas; and Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California. Military and civilian organizations and agencies provide a broad spectrum of services. Several programs are described next. Table 1 provides additional resources for military personnel.
Army Career and Alumni Program
The U.S. Army created the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) (http://www.acap.army.mil/) to provide transition assistance to soldiers and family members separating or retiring from Active Duty with ACAP Centers located on most major U.S. Army installations. The program is mandated by Congress and part of U.S. Army/ Department of Defense (DOD) policy. ACAP provides preseparation counseling, employment workshops, VA briefings, employment assistance, tools for writing resumes and cover letters, advice, and support.
ACAP's Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) is offered for servicemembers who are leaving military service because of disability. This program encourages and assists servicemembers with their decisions about the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service. DTAP facilitates applications for vocational rehabilitation benefits and services. Group sessions explain eligibility, benefits, and availability of educational and vocational counseling. DTAP sessions for hospitalized or convalescing servicemembers are coordinated by the VA Regional Office.
Hope For The Warriors
Established in 2006, Hope For The Warriors[TM] (http:// www.hopeforthewarriors.org) is a civilian, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance quality of life for wounded U.S. servicemembers and their families with short- and long-term care and to ensure that fallen warriors are not forgotten, nor their families left in need. Its programs include the award-winning "Warrior's Wish," recreational outings, athletic events, transitional housing, financial support for immediate needs, support groups, professional development, and a rehabilitation center.
Military OneSource (http://www.militaryonesource.com) has services and information for military personnel and their families who need help with child care, personal finances, emotional support, relocation information, education, elder care, legal advice, and other special circumstances. Face-to-face, telephone, and online counseling by master's-level consultants offer confidential support and practical solutions, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Online resources include a library; financial calculators; self-assessment tools; Webinars (interactive online seminars); monthly newsletters; discussion boards; and podcasts on life issues, including stress management, meal planning, depression, families, and relationships. Military OneSource is a civilian organization under contract with the DOD and has no cost for Active Duty, Guard, or Reserve servicemembers and their families.
U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program
The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) (https://www.aw2.army.mil) assists and advocates for wounded soldiers and their families throughout their lifetimes, unconstrained by location or rehabilitation timelines. AW2 embodies the warrior ethos "We will never leave a fallen comrade." Initially established in April 2004 as the Disabled Soldier Support System for the most severely wounded, injured, or ill soldiers returning from OIF/OEF, AW2 now serves more than 2,300 soldiers and their families. Focusing on those most severely injured, AW2 provides services such as helping wounded soldiers remain in the U.S. Army through education and application assistance, career planning beyond the U.S. Army, education choices, nonmedical benefits, VA and Army benefits, family healthcare, financial counseling for buying a home, local resources, life coaches, and receipt of awards earned during military service. AW2 advocates are located throughout the country at major military treatment facilities and VA medical centers. AW2 assistance requires meeting eligibility requirements (described on its Web site). Its online resources for wounded servicemembers with limb loss include financial assistance, employment opportunities, home improvement assistance, access to assistive technologies including computers, assistance to military family members, outdoor recreational activities, and mobility devices such as Segways[TM].
RESOURCES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Of the 25 million veterans currently alive, nearly 3 of every 4 served during a war or an official period of hostility . About a quarter of the nation's population (approximately 70 million people) is potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or survivors of veterans . The goal of the VA is to provide excellence in patient care, veteran's benefits, and customer satisfaction. The VA provides an abundance of resources, a few of which are described next, with more listed in Table 2.
The VA's Web site (http://www.va.gov) is the starting point for links to VA benefits, VA healthcare, facility locations, employment, education, home loans, the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations program, automobile modifications, and more. The online version of "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents" is a comprehensive guide to VA benefits, with contact numbers and Web sites (http://www1.va.gov/opa/vadocs/ fedben.pdf). Veterans may also call 1-800-827-1000. Veterans Service Representatives are available to work one-on-one with veterans and their families. The VA Crisis Intervention Hotline (1-888-899-9377) assists veterans who may be dealing with a mental health crisis or difficult issue in their lives. The hotline also aids family or friends who are assisting a veteran in crisis.
Veterans Health Administration--Veterans Health Care System
The Veterans Health Administration provides healthcare to veterans transitioning into the Veterans Health Care System (http://www1.va.gov/health/index.asp). A wide range of healthcare services are provided and many Web sites offer information. Eligibility, enrollment, and coverage changes for VA healthcare are described (http:// www.va.gov/healtheligibility). Servicemembers from OIF/ OEF can use the portal for "Returning Service Members" (tap://www.oefoif.va.gov/). My HealtheVet (accessed from http://www.myhealth.va.gov) is the portal for individual healthcare and concerns.
VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (http:// www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/) provides vocational rehabilitation services for veterans with service-connected disabilities, including independent living and educational/ vocational counseling, small business information, translating military skills into occupational skills, and employment opportunities through http://vetsuccess.gov.
VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service
The VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service (http:// www.prosthetics.va.gov) provides adaptive equipment, assistive technologies, artificial limbs, home and vehicle adaptations, wheeled mobility devices, and adaptive sports equipment to VA healthcare beneficiaries. The Web site provides information about the availability of adaptive equipment and technologies, upcoming events, important announcements, and links to new technologies, new prosthetic devices, the VA Benefits Handbook, and the "Veterans for America Survival Guide."
VA Polytrauma System of Care
Polytrauma is defined as two or more injuries to physical regions or organ systems, one of which may be life threatening, that result in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairments and functional disability (such as traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, major limb loss, factures, burns, and visual impairment). Care for returning servicemembers and veterans with these injuries is provided at 4 polytrauma centers and 17 additional network sites by teams of healthcare professionals who develop individual rehabilitation plans to maximize recovery. The Web site (http ://www.polytrauma.va.gov) has information on admission criteria, family support, polytrauma care news, "Frequently Asked Questions," and a locator for VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers and Polytrauma Network Sites.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR VETERANS
Many organizations outside of the VA provide support to veterans. Several are described here, and more are listed in Table 3.
American Veterans (AMVETS) (http://www.amvets.org) is a volunteer-led organization open to anyone who is currently serving or who has honorably served in the U.S. Armed Forces from World War II to the present. For more than 60 years, AMVETS has assisted veterans and sponsored numerous programs that serve the country and its citizens. Their national network of trained national service officers, accredited by the VA, provides advice and prompt action on compensation claims at no charge to the veteran. Additionally, this organization offers professional advice on veterans' benefits and is involved with legislative efforts in Washington, DC. Its Web site features news for veterans, lists of resources, and a career center.
Vietnam Veterans of America
Since 1978, Vietnam Veterans of America (http:// www.vva.org) has been dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families through advocacy for all issues important to Vietnam war veterans, creation of a positive public perception, community service, pursuit of an accounting for POW/MIAs (prisoners of war/missing in action), and support for the next generation of warriors. A Congressionally chartered, not-for-profit corporation, it was founded on the principle "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another." Their hotline (1-800-273-8255) is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
Veterans for America
Veterans for America (http ://www.veteransforamerica. org), a nonprofit organization also known as Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, is an advocacy and humanitarian organization seeking to ensure that the needs of servicemembers and veterans from OIF/OEF are met, focusing on traumatic brain injuries and psychological traumas. Resources include the free 599-page "Survival Guide," a step-by-step road map for navigating the bureaucracies and services that aid veterans, as well as advice and strategies for dealing with difficult issues such as harassment and caregiving. Its Wounded Warrior Outreach Program sponsors one-on-one visits by OIF/OEF servicemember liaisons to troops suffering from psychological and neurological combat injuries to bring trends to military leaders.
Disabled American Veterans
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) (http://www.dav. org) is dedicated to creating better lives for disabled U.S. veterans and their families through a variety of free services. The DAV's National Service Officers assist and represent veterans in filing claims with the VA--free of charge--for disability compensation and pension, vocational rehabilitation, home loan guaranty, and any other benefit program.
The DAV also educates veterans and their families on benefits and services, helps homeless veterans transition to a productive lifestyle, organizes volunteers to drive veterans to and from VA medical facilities, offers disaster relief, publishes DAVMagazine, hosts events such as the Winter Sports Clinic, and advocates for legislation for veterans and their benefits.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America (http://www.pva.org), a Congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, seeks to maximize the quality of life for veterans with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D). It advocates for and provides information on SCI/D health issues, SCI/D research and education, veterans benefits and issues, accessiblity design in architecture and construction, legal issues, sports, and recreation.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILY MEMBERS
Families often require assistance immediately after a member of their family is wounded and may not know where to turn. Participants in the Survey for Prosthetic Use found the following organizations useful for family support. Table 4 provides a detailed list for families, including transportation assistance programs.
Iraq War Veterans Organization, Inc
The Iraq War Veterans Organization, Inc, (http:// www.iraqwarveterans .org) supports veterans and family members from OIF/OEF and the Global War on Terror. Information is provided for Active Duty military and their families on predeployment, deployment, and post-deployment issues. The Web site has links to information on VA healthcare; VA benefits; readjustment after deployment; education; employment opportunities; military discounts; posttraumatuc stress disorder issues; support chat forums; family support; and other community-building resources, including a "Military Matchmaker."
National Military Family Association
The National Military Family Association (NMFA) (http://www.militaryfamily.org) was organized in 1969 as the National Military Wives Association by a group of wives and widows seeking financial security for survivors of uniformed service personnel and retirees. Their efforts resulted in the Survivor Benefit Plan. Since then, NMFA has been at the forefront of advocacy for improvements in the quality of military family life. NMFA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association with support from the seven uniformed services and works regularly on common concerns with The Military Coalition, an umbrella organization of 36 military-related associations. NMFA educates the public, the military community, and Congress on the rights and benefits of military families and advocates with Congress and DOD agencies for an equitable quality of life for those families. NMFA's accomplishments, in conjunction with The Military Coalition, include improvements to medical and dental benefits, education for dependents, services for military children with autism, military housing allowances, relocation coverage, spousal employment opportunities, and retiree and survivor benefits.
RESOURCES IN PUBLIC DOMAIN
Many public organizations are dedicated to helping wounded servicemembers, veterans, their families, and others with limb loss. Details on a few are described below, with more listed in Table 5.
Amputee Coalition of America
The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) (http:// www.amputee-coalition.org) is a national nonprofit consumer educational organization representing people who have experienced amputation or were born with limb differences. The ACA network includes people with limb loss, their friends and family, support groups, professionals, limb loss-related agencies, and educational organizations. The ACA was incorporated in 1989 and is governed by a Board of Directors, the majority of whom are people with limb loss.
The ACA believes that education enables those with limb loss to play a central role in decisions about their care, services, and outcomes, a role that is crucial to achieving their highest potential and self-fulfillment. To empower the individual with limb loss, the ACA provides educational resources that include inMotion magazine, booklets, fact sheets, videotapes, and Military in-Step (in cooperation with the U.S. Armed Forces Amputee Patient Care Program). Its National Limb Loss Information Center (partially supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) provides resources on diverse topics including surgery, people with new limb loss, statistics, financial help, prosthetics, infection, and help for children coping with parental limb loss. Links direct people with limb loss to other Web sites, organizations, and prosthetic manufacturers.
The ACA also advocates on behalf of people with limb loss through government legislation, community outreach, and the dissemination of accurate information about the U.S. population of people with limb loss to the government, industries, and general public. The ACA promotes full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and informs policy makers of the issues of people with limb loss.
The ACA promotes peer support through an online bulletin board, a toll-free hotline, guidelines for starting support groups, and a National Peer Network. A database of trained and experienced peers enables connections by telephone, fax, email, postal service, or personal visits. The ACA provides training seminars to develop the objectivity, listening skills, and appropriate techniques that will enhance the possibility of successful communication. Trained peers are usually people with limb loss who have transitioned successfully to their new life. In addition, the ACA works collaboratively with support groups to provide peer training, training manuals, funding sources, and educational materials.
Wounded Warrior Project
The purpose of the nonprofit organization Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org) is to honor and empower wounded warriors by raising public awareness and support for the needs of severely injured servicemembers; help wounded servicemembers aid and assist each other; and provide programs and services such as career planning, family services, a rehabilitative cycling program, transition training, and advocate for positive changes in veterans benefits and policy. Its core values are fun, integrity, loyalty, innovation, and service.
This article presents examples of the wide selection of resources available to support servicemembers, veterans, and their families who are experiencing the challenges involved in recovering from major limb loss. A large variety of military and veterans benefits and organizations are available that assist in healthcare, transportation, housing and automobile modifications, emotional support, exploration of innovative prosthetic device technologies, recreation, and community building. We hope that this article acts as a portal for servicemembers, veterans, and their families to find the support they may need and to realize the wide diversity of resources that are available to them.
Abbreviations: ACA = Amputee Coalition of America, ACAP = Army Career and Alumni Program, AMVETS = American Veterans, AW2 = U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program, DAV = Disabled American Veterans, DoD = Department of Defense, DTAP = Disabled Transition Assistance Program, NMFA = National Military Family Association, OEF = Operation Enduring Freedom, OIF = Operation Iraqi Freedom, SCI/D = spinal cord injury and disease, VA = Department of Veterans Affairs.
Study concept and design: L. V. McFarland, A. J. Choppa, K. Betz, J. D. Pruden, G. E. Reiber.
Acquisition of data: L. V. McFarland, J. D. Pruden, G. E. Reiber. Drafting of manuscript: L. V. McFarland, A. J. Choppa, K. Betz, J. D. Pruden, G. E. Reiber.
Critical revision of manuscript for important intellectual content: L. V. McFarland, A. J. Choppa, K. Betz, J. D. Pruden, G. E. Reiber. Obtained funding: G. E. Reiber.
Financial Disclosures: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Funding/Support: This material is based on work supported by the VA Health Services Research and Development (grant IIR 05-244) and a Career Scientist Award to Dr. Reiber (grant RCS 98-353).
Additional Contributions: We thank all the participants in the Survey for Prosthetic Use and the Expert Panel members for their valuable assistance. We would like to acknowledge the assistance of Julie Bondzie, Koriann Brousseau, and Jane Emens for assistance in data collection and manuscript preparation.
The resources named in this article are recommended by the participants of the Survey for Prosthetic Use and by members of the Expert Panel. Our focus is government, voluntary, and nonprofit agencies. We recognize that these resources are dynamic and ever changing and that this list is not exhaustive. Inclusion of any organization or Web site in this article does not constitute official endorsement by the VA, DoD, or any of the authors and is for informational purposes only.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the VA or the DoD.
Submitted for publication February 24, 2009. Accepted
February 24, 2009.
[1.] Scoville C. Amputee patient numbers thru January 2009. Email to: GE Reiber. 2009 Jan 31.
[2.] Maynard C, Flohr B, Guagliardo TA, Martin CH, McFarland LV, Pruden JD, Reiber GE. Department of Veterans Affairs compensation and medical care benefits accorded to veterans with major limb loss. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(4): 403-8.
[3.] About VA [Internet]. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs [cited 2009 Feb 23]. Available from: http://www.va.gov/about_va/.
Lynne V. McFarland, MS, PhD; (1) * Anthony J. Choppa, MEd, CRC, CCM, CDMS; (2) Kendra Betz, MSPT, ATP; (3) Jonathan D. Pruden, MPS; (4) Gayle E. Reiber, MPH, PhD (1,5)
(1) Health Services Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; (2) OSC Vocational Systems, Inc, Bothell, WA; (3) VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service, Washington, DC; (4) Wounded Warrior Project, Gainesville VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL; (5) Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
* Address all correspondence to Lynne V. McFarland, PhD; VA Puget Sound HealthCare System, Health Services Research and Development, 1100 Olive Way, Suite 14 00, Seattle, WA 981 01; 206-277-1095; fax: 206-764-2935.
Table 1. Resources for military personnel. Resource Contact Information America Supports You http://www.ourmilitary.mil Army Career and Alumni http://www.acap.army.mil Program Hope For The Warriors[TM] http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org Injured Marine Semper Fi http://www.semperfifund.org Fund Military in-Step http://www.amputee-coalition.org/ military-instep/index.html Military OneSource http://www.militaryonesource.com 1-800-342-9647 My Army Benefits http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil TurboTAP (Transition http://www.transitionassistanceprogram.com Assistance Program) U.S. Army Wounded https://www.aw2.army.mil Warrior Program U.S. Military Services National Guard http://www.ngb.army.mil U.S. Air Force http://www.af.mil U.S. Army http://www.army.mil U.S. Coast Guard http://www.uscg.mil U.S. Marine Corps http://www.usmc.mil U.S. Navy http://www.navy.mil Yellow Ribbon Fund http://www.yellowribbonfund.com Resource Description America Supports You DOD program launched in 2004 that provides opportunities for citizens to show their support for the U.S. Armed Forces and to communicate that support to members of the Armed Forces at home and abroad. Army Career and Alumni Provides transition assistance to soldiers Program and family members separating or retiring from Active Duty with advice, support, preseparation counseling, employment assistance, VA briefings, tools for writing resumes and cover letters, and Disabled Transition Assistance Program. Hope For The Warriors[TM] Nonprofit civilian organization established in 2006 to build hope beyond recovery with numerous programs such as award-winning "Warrior's Wish," recreational outings, athletic events, transitional housing, financial support for immediate needs, support groups, and rehabilitation center. Injured Marine Semper Fi Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization Fund established May 2004 that has provided over 10,000 grants totaling >$24 million to assist wounded OIF/OEF heroes and families. Financial support is provided for family travel to bedside of wounded Marines; mortgage payments; other immediate financial needs; and perpetuating needs such as modified transportation, home modifications, and specialized equipment. Military in-Step Guide in partnership with Army Patient Care program and Amputee Coalition of America for adapting to limb loss with >40 articles to help with rehabilitation, common problems, military benefits, and sports and recreation resources (organized by sport type). Military OneSource Online library and resource center provided by DOD at no cost to military members and their families on education, benefits, housing, legal advice, moving information, caregivers, finances, health, career, parenting, and more. Consultants, counseling, and discussion groups are also available. My Army Benefits Official U.S. Army benefits Web site serving regular Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, family members, and retirees. "My Benefits" section produces personalized survivor and retirement benefit reports for Active Duty soldiers and family members with complete financial forecast of investments, insurance, and servicemember group life insurance. Also provides "what if" capability that projects how life events, such as getting married, having children, or retiring at a projected date, can affect finances. TurboTAP (Transition Provides information for servicemembers Assistance Program) transitioning from military. DOD Web site also supported by Department of Labor and VA. Supplements services of Transition Assistance Offices located on major military installations. Topics include career changes, entrepreneurship, healthcare, education, personal finances, relocation, life insurance, loans, and VA benefits. U.S. Army Wounded U.S. Army program focusing on most Warrior Program severely injured servicemembers with wide range of resources, personal assistance in recovery, and help obtaining benefits. U.S. Military Services Official Web sites of U.S. military National Guard services. U.S. Air Force U.S. Army U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Navy Yellow Ribbon Fund Private, nonprofit organization providing volunteer services, transportation, and lodging to injured servicemembers and their families. Created in 2005 for injured military recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center. DOD = Department of Defense, OIF/OEF = Operation Iraqi Freedom/ Operation Enduring Freedom, VA = Department of Veterans Affairs. Table 2. Resources from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Resource Contact Information VA http://www.va.gov 1-800-827-1000 Federal Benefits http://www1.va.gov/opa/vadocs/fedben.pdf for Veterans and Dependents VA Compensation http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/index.htm and Pension Service VA Crisis Interven- http://www.marion.va.gov/services/ tion Hotline Veteran_s_Crisis Intervention_Hotline.asp 1-888-899-9377 VA Education http://www.gibill.va.gov Benefits VA Facilities Locator http://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/ and Directory vetcenter.asp VA Health Care http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility Eligibility and Enrollment VA Health Care- http://www1.va.gov/health Veterans Health Administration VA Home Loan http://www.homeloans.va.gov Guaranty Services VA Life Insurance http://www.insurance.va.gov Programs VA My HealtheVet http://www.myhealth.va.gov VA National Center http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder VA National http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/natpro/ Programs and Default.asp Special Events VA Polytrauma http://www.polytrauma.va.gov System of Care VA Prosthetics http://www.prosthetics.va.gov and Sensory Aids Service VA Returning http://www.oefoif.va.gov Service Members (OEF/OIF) VA Veterans Service http://www1.va.gov/VSO Organizations VA Vocational http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm Rehabilitation and Employment Resource Description VA Main Web site with links to VA benefits, locations, jobs, VA data, public affairs, Home Improvements and Structural Alterations program, automobile modifications, healthcare benefits, and more. Federal Benefits Online version of "Federal Benefits for for Veterans and Veterans and Dependents" brochure, Dependents comprehensive guide to VA benefits, with contact numbers and Web sites. VA Compensation Links to compensation, VA benefits and Pension Service summaries, health and dental insurance, and special OIF/OEF page for topics such as home loans, education, and PTSD. VA Crisis Interven- Crisis hotline established by VA Heartland tion Hotline Network to assist veterans who may be dealing with a mental health crisis or difficult issue in their lives. Also aids family or friends who are assisting a veteran in crisis. VA Education Education assistance programs as provided Benefits by "GI Bill" to veterans, servicemembers, and some dependents of disabled or deceased veterans wishing to pursue education. VA Facilities Locator Location of VA facilities by zip code or and Directory map. VA Health Care Eligibility, enrollment, and coverage Eligibility and changes for VA healthcare. Enrollment VA Health Care- Overview of VA healthcare programs. Veterans Health Administration VA Home Loan Current updates on home loans for Guaranty Services veterans. VA Life Insurance Life insurance programs for Programs servicemembers and veterans. VA My HealtheVet Portal to individual VA healthcare and concerns. VA National Center Information on PTSD such as coping with for Posttraumatic war, resources for families, effects of Stress Disorder serving in OIF/OEF, diagnosis and treatment, and "PTSD Information Center" link. VA National National annual events for veterans, Programs and including Winter Sports Clinic, Wheelchair Special Events Games, Summer Sports Clinic, Golden Age Games, and National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. VA Polytrauma Care for veterans with multiple injuries System of Care and locations of polytrauma facilities. VA Prosthetics Information on prosthetic devices and all and Sensory Aids other adaptive equipment and technologies Service provided to VA healthcare beneficiaries. VA Returning Answers to questions and timely Service Members information for OIF/OEF servicemembers. (OEF/OIF) VA Veterans Service Online database of chartered and Organizations unchartered veterans service organizations. VA Vocational Vocational rehabilitation services for Rehabilitation and veterans with service/connected Employment disabilities, including independent living, educational/vocational counseling, small business information, translating military skills into occupational skills, and employment opportunities through http://vetsuccess.gov. OIF/OEF = Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom, PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder. Table 3. Other resources for veterans. Resource Contact Information American Veterans http://www.amvets.org 301-459-9600 American Veterans http://www.avbi.org with Brain Injuries Disabled American http://www.dav.org Veterans 877-I AM A VET [877-426-2838] Military Order of the http://www.purpleheart.org Purple Heart 703-642-5360 National Veterans http://www.nvf.org Foundation 1-888-777-4443 Paralyzed Veterans http://www.pva.org of America 1-800-424-8200 Segs4Vets http://www.segs4vets.org U.S. VETS http://www.usvetsinc.org Vets Coming Home http://www.vetscominghome.com Veterans for America http://www.veteransforamerica.org Veterans and Families http://www.veteransandfamilies.org Foundation Veterans of Modern http://www.vmwusa.org Warfare Vietnam Veterans of http://www.vva.org America 1-800-273-8255 Resource Description American Veterans Volunteer-led organization founded >60 years ago to support veterans and provide community service. Network of trained national service officers accredited by VA helps veterans with their benefits. Volunteers also work on legislative issues. Web site has links to resources and news updates for veterans. American Veterans Nonprofit organization begun in 2004 as with Brain Injuries Web-based peer-support network and information resource to support families of servicemembers and veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injury. Disabled American Nonprofit organization founded in 1920 to Veterans provide free support for veterans and their families. National Service Officers assist veterans in filing VA claims, free- of-charge. Educates veterans and their families on benefits and services, helps homeless veterans transition to a productive lifestyle, organizes volunteers to drive veterans to and from VA medical facilities, offers disaster relief, publishes magazine, hosts events such as Winter Sport Clinic, and advocates for legislation for veterans and their benefits. Military Order of the Veteran service organization that assists Purple Heart all veterans (not just members), widows, and orphans with VA claims and appeals through education and outreach to rural, urban, handicapped, destitute, and homeless veterans. National Veterans Nonprofit 24-hour hotline and Web site Foundation staffed by veterans from Vietnam, Cold War, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan who are specially trained in crisis information and referral services vices for veterans and their families. Outreach services provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment opportunities, and other resources. Paralyzed Veterans Congressionally chartered veterans service of America organization founded in 1946 that seeks to maximize quality of life for veterans with SCI/D. Advocates for and provides information on SCI/D health issues, SCI/D research and education, veterans benefits and issues, accessibility designs in architecture and construction, legal issues, sports, and recreation. Segs4Vets Program providing Segways[TM] to severely injured veterans through nonprofit organization Disability Rights Advocates for Technology. U.S. VETS Nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk veterans. Vets Coming Home Offers resources, comfort, and aide to veterans returning home. Clearinghouse with links to books, counseling resources, Federal and state agencies, PTSD groups, and other veterans groups Veterans for America Nonprofit organization, also known as Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, to ensure that needs of servicemembers and veterans from OIF/OEF are met, focusing on traumatic brain injuries and psychological traumas. Resources include 599-page "Survival Guide" to help navigate bureaucracy. Veterans and Families 501(c)(3) nonprofit community service and Foundation support organization to aid veterans and their families in homecoming transition by helping veterans decompress from war and deployment, both mentally and emotionally, and transition back into family and civilian life. Veterans of Modern New nonprofit membership organization Warfare dedicated to meeting needs of most recent war veterans who served from 1990 to present, through benefits access, seamless transitions, healthcare, and advocacy. Emphasis is on timely communication and camaraderie. Vietnam Veterans of Congressionally chartered, not-for-profit America corporation since 1978 dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families through advocacy for all issues important to Vietnam veterans, creation of positive public perception, serving the community, and support for next generation of warriors. OIF/OEF = Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom, PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder, SCI/D = spinal cord injury and disease, VA = Department of Veterans Affairs. Table 4. Resources for family members. Resource Contact Information Air Charity Network http://www.aircharitynetwork.org 1-877-621-7177 Family Information http://www.familyinfoserv.com/ Services crisis.html Iraq War Veterans http://www.iraqwarveterans.org/ Organization, Inc family_support.htm Military Family http://www.emilitary.org Network National Military http://www.militaryfamily.org Family Association U.S. Family Health http://www.usfhp.com Plan USA Together https://app01.usatogether.org Veterans Airlift http://www.veteransairlift.org Command 952-582-2911 Resource Description Air Charity Network National nonprofit organization that provides free air transportation to distant healthcare facilities or for other crises. Volunteer pilots donate flights through independent member organizations, organized by geographical area. Family Information Resources for professionals who help Services families deal with crises. Web site has library on topics such as trauma, death, violence, grief, and talking to children about crises. Iraq War Veterans Civilian organization created to organize Organization, Inc and represent OIF veterans. Web site has links to information about VA healthcare, readjustment after deployment, education, employment, military discounts, PTSD issues, support links, chat forums, family support, and deployment information. Military Family Private organization that supports Network military families and increases their readiness and well-being by connecting them with their communities and services. National Military Civilian nonprofit 501(c)(3) association Family Association founded in 1969 with programs to educate military families, public, and Congress on rights and benefits of military families and to advocate equitable quality of life for those families. U.S. Family Health Military health system's healthcare Plan options in seven areas of the United States for eligible family members of Active Duty families, military retirees, and eligible family members. USA Together Civilian-based organization that uses the power of the Internet to help servicemembers who have suffered life-altering injuries. Injured servicemembers register their specific situation and then contributors donate to specific servicemembers through Web site. Veterans Airlift Nonprofit organization providing free air Command transportation to wounded servicemembers, veterans, and their families for medical and other compassionate needs through national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Priority is veterans of OIF/OEF, with other veterans as capacity allows. OIF/OEF = Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom, PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder, VA = Department of Veterans Affairs. Table 5. Resources in public domain for people with limb loss. Resource Contact Information Above Knee Amputee http://abovekneeamputee.com Active Living Magazine http://www.activelivingmagazine.com Adaptive Sports http://www.adaptivesportsfounda- Foundation tion.org American Academy http://www.oandp.org of Orthotists and Prosthetists American Amputee http://www.americanamputee.org Foundation American Orthotic & http://www.aopanet.org Prosthetic Association Amputee Coalition of http://www.amputee-coalition.org America 1-800-267-5669 Amputee Coalition of http://www.amputee-coalition.org/ America--en espanol nllic_spanish.asp The Amputee Network http://homepage.mac.com/birdhouse- studios/AmputeeNetwork.htm Amputee Resource http://www.amputeeresource.org Foundation of America, Inc Arm-Amp.Com http://www.arm-amp.com Arm Amputee Program, http://nrhrehab.org/Patient+Care/ National Rehabilitation Programs+and+Service+Offerings/ Hospital Outpatient+Services/ Service Page.aspx?id=121 202-877-1875 The Care Planner http://www.careplanners.net/index.asp Network Challenged Athletes http://www. challengedathletes.org Foundation 858-866-0959 Charleston Amputee http://www.charlestonamputee Support Team supporteam.com Digital Resource http://www.drfop.org Foundation for the Orthotics and Prosthetics Community Disabled Sports USA http://www.dsusa.org Fashion Magic Apparel http://www.fashionmagic.bc.ca The Given Limb http://www.givenlimb.org Foundation Helping a Hero http://www.helpingahero.org 1-888-786-9531 Hemipelvectomy and http://www.hphdhelp.org Hip-Disarticulation Amputee Support National Amputee Golf http://www.nagagolf.org Association National Institute of http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi Neurological Disorders and Stroke National Limb Loss http://www.amputee-coalition.org/ Center nllic_about.html National Peer Network http://www.amputee-coalition.org/ npn_about.html 1-888-267-5669 O&P Digital http://www.oandp.com Technologies O&P Online Library http://www.oandplibrary.org Project Healing Waters http://projecthealingwaters.org Fly Fishing Team River Runner http://www.teamriverrunner.org Warriors & Quiet Water http://warriorsandquietwaters.org Foundation Wounded Warrior Out- http://www.veteransforamerica.org/ reach Program our-programs/ Wounded Warrior http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org Project Resource Description Above Knee Amputee Maintained by people with above-knee limb loss and their friends to help them achieve success with their prosthesis and related issues. Support includes dealing with emotional issues, message boards, links, and tips. Membership provides access to prosthetist rating page. Active Living Magazine Features articles on adapted activities, travel resources, and tools for maintaining active life with amputation or other disability. Requires subscription. Adaptive Sports Nonprofit organization since 1984 that has Foundation provided both winter and summer sports instruction to children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. American Academy For-profit trade association founded in of Orthotists and 1970 assisting orthotic and prosthetic Prosthetists facilities, manufacturers, and suppliers. Membership required, but Journal of Orthotics and Prosthetics is available at this Web site. American Amputee Nonprofit educational organization Foundation established in 1975 as national information clearinghouse and referral center serving people with limb loss, their families, and care providers. Some information is free; newsletter and additional information available to members only. American Orthotic & For-profit national trade association Prosthetic Association founded in 1917 with services and products for orthotic and prosthetic professionals. Requires membership. Amputee Coalition of National nonprofit consumer educational America organization representing people who have experienced amputation or were born with limb differences and empowering them through educational resources, legislative advocacy, and National Peer Network. Resources include inMotion magazine, limb loss news, National Limb Loss Information Center, booklets, fact sheets, videotapes, online bulletin board, toll-free hotline, peer training, and links to other Web sites, organizations, and prosthetic manufacturers. Amputee Coalition of Amputee Coalition of America Web site America--en espanol offered in Spanish. The Amputee Network Web site to educate people with limb loss and their families and friends, with primary objective of helping with prosthetic rehabilitation. Site offers stories of people with limb loss, blog, and featured monthly links. Amputee Resource Nonprofit Web-based information resource Foundation of America, funded through public donations with Inc resource links, articles, tips for finding Arm-Amp.Com prosthetist, published articles, and link to "Amputees in Hollywood." Web site run by people with upper-limb amputations, featuring profiles of people with upper-limb amputations, tips, suggestions, chat room, and links. Arm Amputee Program, Private nonprofit program providing National Rehabilitation prosthetic training for servicemembers Hospital with upper-limb amputations in District of Columbia. The Care Planner Nonprofit organization dedicated to Network professionals in life planning and case management. Challenged Athletes Unique nonprofit organization established Foundation in 1997 to help people with disabilities pursue active lifestyle through physical fitness and support athletic greatness inherent in all people with physical challenges through grants for training, competition, and equipment needs. Operation Rebound specifically supports servicemembers and veterans. Charleston Amputee Civilian support team for amputees in Support Team Charleston, South Carolina, area, offering support group meetings, events, and links to other services available. Part of Amputee Coalition of America. Digital Resource Nonprofit organization with mission to Foundation for the develop computer-based information Orthotics and resources and communication for worldwide Prosthetics Community orthotics, prosthetics, and rehabilitation community. Online resources are "Humanitarian Database" connecting communities of need with professionals and organizations that can help and "Virtual Library" of orthotics and prosthetics reference materials, available free to users worldwide. Disabled Sports USA Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans to serve war injured through community-based chapters offering variety of recreation programs to anyone with permanent disability. Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project supports severely wounded servicemembers from OIF/OEF and Global War on Terror. Fashion Magic Apparel For-profit company selling custom clothes to fit with wheelchair or with specific needs of people with limb loss. The Given Limb Nonprofit organization established in 2007 Foundation to help improve lives of persons throughout world with limb loss or diminished use of their limbs, from servicemembers to victims of land mines. Supports new initiatives, including tool kit for minor repairs for prosthetic devices. Helping a Hero Nonprofit organization providing support for severely injured military personnel. Scholarship support, new homes, recreation, etc. Hemipelvectomy and Private voluntary site for support of Hip-Disarticulation people with hip disarticulation and Amputee Support hemipelvectomies through peer support/ communication, physical fitness, education, hints, and prosthetic/ adaptive-technology information. National Amputee Golf Association started by 12 World War II Association veterans with limb loss incorporated in 1954 and supported by Professional Golf Association tion and U.S. Golf Association. Sponsors golf programs such as First Swing to teach adaptive golf to people with physical disabilities, brings golf to rehabilitation centers and hospitals for people with limb loss, organizes tournaments, and publishes magazine. National Institute of U.S. government (National Institutes of Neurological Disorders Health) Web site with information and and Stroke links on traumatic brain injury, including educational booklets, publications, organizations, research, and clinical trials. National Limb Loss See "Amputee Coalition of America." Center National Peer Network See "Amputee Coalition of America." Peer network to connect people with limb loss with trained peers and support groups. O&P Digital Web site providing comprehensive Technologies information and services for orthotics and prosthetics professionals, focusing on Web/software development and new technologies. O&P Online Library Virtual library for orthotics and prosthetics community in partnership with O&P Digital Technologies. Project Healing Waters Nonprofit organization which introduces Fly Fishing fly fishing to servicemembers and veterans with disabilities to aid in their physical and emotional recovery. Team River Runner Nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, established in 2004 by kayak-ers in Washington, DC, area to help Active Duty military and veterans find health, healing, and new challenges through whitewater boating on Potomac River, in partnership with The Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled Sports USA. Warriors & Quiet Water Nonprofit corporation providing Foundation rehabilitative recreation through fly fishing on Montana's rivers and streams primarily for wounded servicemembers still in military hospital system. Wounded Warrior Out- Run by Veterans for America nonprofit reach Program organization. Sponsors one/on/one visits by OIF/OEF servicemember liaisons to troops suffering from psychological and neurological combat injuries to bring trends to military leaders. Wounded Warrior Nonprofit organization that empowers Project severely injured servicemembers through peer support, community involvement and awareness, and programs and services such as career planning, family services, rehabilitative cycling program, transition training, and advocacy for positive changes in veterans benefits and policy. OIF/OEF = Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom.
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