An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Dec. 1, 2021

Walter Reed TC Helps Recovering Soldiers Discover the Skills They Offer the World

By D.P. Taylor Army

"Part of the transition process here in the SRU is we talk about what the Soldiers' goals are, and we try to put the Soldiers in a career and education activity that aligns specifically with their goals," she said.

Muhammad wanted to go to school, so Franklin started connecting him with a counselor who conducted an assessment and helped him identify a school he would be interested in.

Franklin got involved in this type of work while in active duty at the Air Force. She worked at what was called a "patient squadron," which is similar to an SRU. Now she helps dozens of Soldiers at one time. There's no set number of Soldiers that Franklin works with at any one time — she may deal with as many as 150 Soldiers, but right now she is helping around 50 or so.

The biggest area where Soldiers need help is just being prepared for the civilian world, which they probably weren't even thinking about before their injury.

"Most of them were thinking they were going to do 20 years in the military," Franklin said. "Find out either by injury or medical condition that they're not able to continue their military career, they're now having to figure out what their next phase of life is going to be. A lot of times, that's kind of a shock for them."

The military world is also very different from the civilian world, and it's tough to make that transition. Franklin helps them with that, doing everything from connecting them to resources to helping them learn to shift their language and not speak in so many acronyms. Finding them opportunities to get an internship at a federal agency is one way of doing that.

For Franklin, it's a labor of love.

"The most rewarding thing for me is when you see that light bulb go on — when you see a service member who originally thought, 'Oh, I don't have the skillset to do a specific thing on the civilian side,'" she said. "When they realize the Army or military did provide them with a lot of skills, and they have a lot of skills that translate to the civilian side, and they are going to be successful outside the military — I think that's rewarding."

Muhammad is currently undergoing the candidacy process for a position at the State Department. While it's been a long road, he's grateful for people like Franklin who have helped him along the way.

"She would see an opportunity and had a Soldier in mind," he said. "She'd always reach out to you and say, 'Hey, I saw this opportunity, would you like it?' Even if you said no, she'd try to figure out why, and she would see how she could tailor those things. It didn't feel like it was just a job to her."

The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. Visit us at