Air Force Wounded Warrior Program aids Airmen, Guardians

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nicholas Paczkowski
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Life for injured or wounded military personnel can be painful as they may think there’s no treatment for what they’re going through, however, the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program helps Airmen, Guardians and families get the resources they need.
The AFW2 aims to support seriously wounded, ill and injured Airmen and Guardians as they transition back to active duty or civilian life. To help wounded warriors and their families/caregivers in this process AFW2 works alongside multiple other organizations such as the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program, Airman and Family Readiness Centers, and the Air Force Medical Service.
“I feel like I have the greatest job because I get to be there when our service members need help the most and provide help when they don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Michelle Colburn, the local Air Force wounded warrior recovery care coordinator. “The most rewarding part of the job is giving them their options and their progress through the recovery.”
The AFW2, in coordination with recovery teams, medical case managers, non-medical care managers and family liaison officers, offers wounded warriors and their families assistance with matters beyond medical treatment including financial services, securing lodging and transportation, and overall care of families and caregivers.
Ambassadors like Antonio DelVechhio travel around the world and share their stories and the AFW2 mission with service members.
“Our hope as ambassadors is to not only bring awareness to the program but to get an Airman to step forward that may or may not need that help or may not know that they need that help,'' said Antonio DelVecchio, an AFW2 ambassador. “We also hope that wingmen or squadron commanders will refer those Airmen that fall in the lines of this program and ultimately get those Airmen help.”
More than 8,400 wounded warriors, their families, and caregivers are supported by the AFW2 program. This number continues to grow as more and more wounded warriors are identified.
There are multiple ways an Airmen or Guardian can be eligible to enter the Wounded Warrior Program. Service members who have been injured, ill, seriously wounded, have had a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, or other mental or physical health problems may be eligible to be in the program.
“Getting to tell my story not only spreads awareness about the program, but it helps me to cope and recover with my PTSD,” said DelVecchio. “Being an ambassador also helps me connect to Airmen when they thought they were alone.”
The AFW2 has several programs to help wounded warriors including:
  • Adaptive Sports Program: Helps enhance recovery and quality of life by allowing wounded warriors to participate in physical activities.
  • Wellness and Resiliency Program: This program has multiple components to help strengthen mental, social, physical, and spiritual health.
  • Recovering Airman Mentorship Program: Helps motivate new wounded warriors.
  • Airmen for Life: Helps create a social environment that provides specialized assistance and informs and inspires wounded warriors.
  • Caregiver and Family Support Program: Provides training and education to help strengthen family resiliency. 
  • Empowerment in Transition Program: Strives to equip, empower, and encourage wounded warriors to develop and achieve both long-term career and life goals.
  • Outreach and Ambassador Program: This program helps Airmen, Guardians and caregivers share their personal stories of resiliency and recovery.
To learn more information about AFW2 or to see the eligibility process visit,