Wounded Troops Share Stories, Strength

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Doug Roles, 28th Infantry Division

Eight wounded service members returned to Afghanistan April 3 as part of the 24th iteration of Operation Proper Exit to bring a message of hope and resiliency to soldiers deployed here. The event facilitated frank discussions about the best outcomes for some of the worst injuries soldiers face.

The panel discussion addressed post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs services and rehabilitation. It also allowed the audience to discover how to interact with brothers in arms who have lost limbs, been shot multiple times or struggled through anxiety and depression after returning home from combat. An initiative of the Troops First Foundation, OPE seeks wounded service members who are thriving in recovery and are capable of returning to theater so that they may leave on their own terms.

“It’s a distinct honor and privilege to be able to host you today,” said Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Radulski, the 28th Infantry Division deputy commander for operations, as he welcomed the group to a gymnasium on post. “You’re on a journey of discovery and closure and we’re proud to be a part of that process. I hope you find the healing you seek.”

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division’s headquarters battalion hosted the first stop of the group’s weeklong…

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