Resources for wounded warriors with major traumatic limb loss.
Subject: Nonprofit organizations (Services)
Web sites (Usage)
Authors: McFarland, Lynne V.
Choppa, Anthony J.
Betz, Kendra
Pruden, Jonathan D.
Reiber, Gayle E.
Pub Date: 07/01/2010
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
Accession Number: 241861752
Full Text: INTRODUCTION

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) [1] and more than 2,500 from the Vietnam war [2] 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

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 [3]. 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 [3]. 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

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Author Contributions:

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.

REFERENCES

[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.

Email: Lynne.McFarland@va.gov

DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2009.02.0017
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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