Senator Guthertz: “Its Time to Bring Our Wounded Warriors Home”

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Guam – Guam  Military  Buildup  Chairperson  Judi  Guthertz  has  started  the  ball  rolling  toward relocating facilities that care for local veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan from Hawaii to Guam.

Senator Guthertz raised the issue in an October letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, noting that vets recovering from wounds and preparing to return to civilian life are presently sent to the Hawaii Warrior Transition Battalion under the command of Tripler Army Medical Center.

“[T]he family is the best support resource for our Guam‐based soldiers who are in [the] Warrior  Transition  program,”  Senator  Guthertz  wrote  to  Secretary  Pfannenstiel,  “yet those family members are thousands of miles away, here in Guam.”

Guthertz said Guam National Guard Commander Major General Donald J. Goldhorn has frequently  visited  the  Battalion  while  traveling  through  Hawaii  and  “concurs  in  any recommendation  for  greater  mental  health  capability  being  located  in  Guam  for  the National Guard and active duty military stationed here.”

Secretary  Pfannenstiel  agreed  that  the  health  of  service  members  “must  be  our  top priority”  and  forwarded  Senator  Guthertz’s  letter  of inquiry  to  both  Army  officials  in Washington and at the medical command in Hawaii.

“As  to  the  establishment  of  a  Warrior  Transition  Battalion  on  Guam,  I  have  likewise forwarded  your  letter  to  the  appropriate  agencies  within  the  U.S.  Marine  Corps,” Pfannenstiel said.

Senator Guthertz strongly urged that “the Pentagon immediately commit to standing up a Warrior Transition Battalion in Guam in time to meet the mental health needs of our magnificent Marines returning to Guam from combat tours.”