12 February 2015

Soldier Family Assistance Center Director Craig Branagan is eager to work on continuing to improve the programs available through the SFAC. Branagan began his role as the new director in December 2014. Photo by Shannon Bishop, USAG Public Affairs
Soldier Family Assistance Center Provides Unwavering Support for Wounded Warriors and Families
By Shannon Bishop, USAG Public Affairs

Hand-drawn cards and heartfelt notes made by local children in support of our Nation’s military are an instant, visible sign of support for those wounded in battle when walking through the front doors of the Fort Detrick Soldier Family Assistance Center, located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. These notes are just the beginning of the outpouring of support our military members receive during their transition time from the Warrior Transition Unit.

“When someone walks through our doors, they are first greeted by our volunteers who manage our client intake,” said SFAC Director Craig Branagan. “Our volunteers get people started with the process and get them pointed in the right direction.”

The SFAC continues to provide unwavering support to Wounded Warriors and their families even during this time of transition to a new program director, Branagan.

“We have great people here that can help Soldiers during a challenging time,” said Branagan. “This job is about taking care of our Soldiers.”

Branagan, previously the Fort Detrick Education Services officer, assumed the role of the SFAC director in December 2014, and plans to assist the organization in making sure their daily operations are running smoothly and effectively.

“One of my areas of expertise is getting programs to run smoothly,” said Branagan. “I hope to be able to do that here as well. It can be challenging to navigate the Navy systems, Fort Detrick and Warrior Transition Programs simultaneously. You have to be on your toes to get the job done.”

The SFAC provides tailored support services to the Warrior Transition Unit, where Wounded Warriors receive care and treatment for illness or injuries. According to the Army Community Service website, the SFAC is a comprehensive, centralized office that provides a variety of services to assist Soldiers and their families with administrative and personal needs during their transition process.

According to Branagan, services offered within the SFAC include the Wounded Warrior Assistive Technology Program, financial counseling, education counseling, referrals to community resources and social services support, as well as human resources including an identification/Common Access Card office.

Branagan highlighted many of the programs available to Soldiers from the WTU thanks to the support of so many local organizations. One program provides taxi fares for Soldiers two times per week to allow them to run errands, enjoy time with friends or visit family members.

“Over the past several years, thousands of dollars have been spent by these community organizations to support our Soldiers,” said Branagan.

The transition assistance program within the SFAC provides career counseling, resume building and business workshops for Soldiers who are transitioning out of the military.

“We focus on the Soldier Life Cycle here. We want Soldiers thinking ahead to when they are eventually leaving the military,” said Branagan. “We want Soldiers to be prepared to be better civilians.”

For more information about the SFAC, call (301) 400-0208.

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