SAN DIEGO - Rear Adm. C. Forrest Faison III, commander, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and Navy Medicine West, discussed wartime care of wounded, ill and injured service members as the keynote speaker during the San Diego Military Advisory Council's (SDMAC) monthly breakfast, onboard Naval Base Point Loma, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, Feb. 20.
During the breakfast, Faison laid out four areas of care for combat wounded that could benefit from a national strategy: medical care, education, vocation and family support as featured in his U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine article titled "Coming Home", which published in the December 2012 edition.
Faison explained the need for a sustainable plan to reintegrate service members into the community.
"It's critical to get the word out to the community about wounded warriors and the care we're providing for them but also the challenges ahead and the opportunities that it presents as we look to the long term and taking care of these folks who have dedicated so much. We are routinely saving today people on the battlefield that in any previous war would have died. As a result, preparing for their long term future is something new for our nation and it presents many challenges but also opportunities to ensure they return home as valuable contributing members to our nation."
Successfully reintegrating today's heroes back into society will pave the way for those who will follow in their footsteps, Faison added. The public is watching how well we take care of those who served. It will influence others in making their decision on whether or not to raise their right hand and volunteer to serve in the military. Ensuring wounded warriors and their families are taken care of today instills confidence in future generations about the nation's level of commitment to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, explained Faison.
"They have their entire lives ahead of them, they're important to our nation and our military because they're our future leaders. We have to do right by caring for them today and preparing them for a successful tomorrow," he added. "I see their dedication and their commitment.I see a group of individuals who only want to serve and make a difference. The best we can do is to help them in every way we can, help them get on with their lives and say thank you for their service."
The relationship between SDMAC and the San Diego military community is one of mutual respect and goodwill according to SDMAC President, retired Marine Col. Earl Wederbrook.
"The military is an active and integral part of the San Diego community," he said. "[More than] 100,000 active duty Marines and Sailors live in San Diego; the military contributes over $32 billion to the San Diego economy. These Marines and Sailors are [our] neighbors and contribute to the community as volunteers such as Little League coaches or scout leaders. The San Diego community enjoys a unique relationship with the military that exists nowhere else in the country."
For more information on Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd, www.facebook.com/nmcsd, or www.twitter.com/nmc_sd.