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Warrior Transition Battalion sees decline in soldiers

Warrior Care and Transition Program sees a decline in soldiers.

The Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bliss is seeing a decline in soldiers being assigned there.

It’s where battle-wounded soldiers go to heal while they either transition back to active duty or into civilian life.

The Warrior Care and Transition Program started in 2007.

Since then, nearly 75,000 soldiers nationwide have completed the program.

Operations specialist for the WTB at Fort Bliss, Tracy Higgerson, said they’ve seen a decline and said it has to do with less soldiers getting deployed and injured.

A battle-wounded soldier, Staff Sgt. David Rogers said he is recovering from injuries he sustained in Afghanistan.

“I have two gunshot wounds to my leg and two shrapnel wounds, one to my finger and one to my shoulder,” he said. "I've been here for eight months."

The WTB at Fort Bliss is one of 14 spread across the country.

"It's for injured and wounded and we come here to get healed and get back to the fight, or transition back to civilian life,” said Rogers. "I am transitioning back to active duty."

The past nine months have been life-changing for Rogers.

"I started out in a hospital bed, then I went to a wheelchair, to a walker, to crutch, to cane,” he said.

Rogers told KFOX14 the WTB has helped him heal significantly.

"So, without these guys' help, there's no way I could've, you know, returned to active duty,” he said.

Nationwide, the Warrior Care and Transition Program has seen a decline in the number of soldiers it’s helping.

In fact, July 2008 is when the program had its all-time high, with 1,996 battle-injured soldiers.

This year, as of the end of November, there were 40 battle-injured soldiers.

"It's very important, because it allows a soldier to focus on healing,” said Higgerson. "Eating, breathing and sleeping rehabilitation at our facility."

He said the decline is due to fewer soldiers getting injured and operation drawdowns.

Rogers said he should be back to duty next month.

"I really appreciate everyone that's helped me out through this process,” he said.

While at the WTB, soldiers participate in adaptive reconditioning sports.

Rogers said cycling helped him in his healing process.

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