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Caring for Commandos

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Luke Kitterman
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

The men and women of the U.S. Special Operations Command make sacrifices every day to continually provide security for our nation. Their family members act as an extension of that security by directly supporting their military members in their daily lives.

It is the goal of the USSOCOM Warrior Care Program to ensure Special Operations Forces service members and their families are taken care of if anything happens to them since humans are the most important asset of the force.

Here at Cannon, the sole representative of the WCP is Phoenix native, Darrell Underwood. He has been the Recovery Care Coordinator since March of 2016 and is no stranger to SOCOM with his entire 20-year career being in Air Force Special Operations Command.   

“My job as an advocate is to help the individuals and their families through whatever circumstances they are going through,” Underwood said. “When I first sit down with them, I do  ‘needs’ assessment to try and determine a game plan for what type of help they need and identify what resources we can provide them in order to support them adequately.”  

Started in 2005, the program is dedicated to ensuring anyone who has suffered from a life-altering wound, injury or mental or physical illness receives the best support possible. The program offers a wide-variety of different types of support to include help towards unforeseen medical expenses or preparation for job possibilities outside the military.

“Members with a surprise expense associated with his or her wound, illness or injury can get aid from our Benevolence Office that has connections with hundreds of charitable organizations,” Underwood said. “Our Transition Office prepares those who are separating or retiring by creating resumes and making connections with numerous companies all over the U.S. for fellowships or paying jobs. More than 90 percent of the people who signed up through that have received good jobs, most of them through Fortune 500 companies.”

On top of that, the WCP acts as a liaison to top-level doctors and clinics around the world for those members with complex medical issues. Also, another support program is Adaptive Sports; an organization that promotes activities such as fishing, hunting and mountain climbing with professional coaches for members to get a sense of normality back.

The WCP provides care through all phases of care and beyond: recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration or transition. Additionally, the support continues for the life of the member. It does not end when one retires or separates.

 “The best part about the Warrior Care Program is that everything we provide extends to the WCP member’s spouse and children,” Underwood said. “We understand that taking care of member’s family is just as important as taking care of that member. We don’t know when bad things are going to happen in our lives and when they do, we want people to know there is help out there through the Warrior Care Program.”

Underwood hopes to make sure everyone here at Cannon knows this program is available to them and to continue aiding those who have sacrificed part of their lives for this country. If you think you might qualify for the Warrior Care Program contact Mr. Underwood through his contact information below.

Darrell Underwood, Recovery Care Coordinator

Desk phone #: 575-784-1167

Cell phone #: 813-735-9978