The Community Activities Center at Fort Detrick held a program to recognize the work and dedication of its employees with disabilities Nov. 5. Sponsored by the Equal Opportunity Office, the program highlighted motivation and opportunity, and made a call for leadership.
Col. Allan Darden, Sr., commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick, has two sons, and one has special needs. Darden talked about the motivation his son has to accomplish anything put before him. He mentioned that only in the United States are individuals with special needs given an opportunity to succeed, and that this is all anyone with a disability really wants. They, like everyone else, just need the opportunity because the motivation is already there.
Darden said he was very proud of the U.S. Armed Services and the strides it has made with hiring our injured service members.
"We finally got it," said Darden. "Today we allow our brothers and sisters who have been injured to come back to our families."
Guest speaker was Col. Greg D. Gadson, commander of Fort Belvoir, Va. In 2007, as commander of the 23nd Battalion, 32 Field Artillery, Gadson's greatest challenge came in Iraq, where an improvised explosive device attack cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. Since this event, Gadson has taken life in stride, and as he told the crowd, he sees himself as having a hyperability, not a disability, because he continues to do more with less each day. He continues to inspire others through his work with the Army, the New York Giants, and on the big screen.
Gadson ended his presentation by challenging us all, saying, "As leaders, it is our responsibility to find ways for people to exceed and thrive to be recognized. We have to provide an environment where everyone feels like a part of the team."
The Army has programs in place where wounded warriors can continue active duty or reserve duty. With the war coming to an end, we can expect to see more veterans joining the civilian work force and working next to us. The Warrior Transition Command is committed to helping wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers heal, rehabilitate, and reintegrate, either back to duty or into their civilian communities as productive citizens.
For more information on transition, or if you know a business owner who may be interested in hiring a wounded warrior, please visit http://wtc.army.mil/soldier/transition_options.html