Injured soldiers recover with Ft. Sill unit

Lawton_Ft. Sill takes care of its own, and that includes any soldier wounded in the war.

It was a year ago the media broke the story of the lack of quality care for injured army troops at Walter Reed Medical Center. Ft. Sill didn't want that to happen here, so it established the "Warriors in Transition" unit. It's a way to provide primary care and case management for service members recovering from injuries suffered while fighting the War on Terror.

The unit helps the injured soldiers not only heal from physical injuries -- but also deal with the psychological impact of fighting in war. One soldier sat down with 7-News and shared his experience of being a part of the WTU; saying his quick recovery is all thanks to what the army has done for him.

Soldiers like Sgt. Jeffery Lucas are who you see here at the Warriors in Transition unit. He had to have his knee completely rebuilt. "You hear about the Walter Reed stuff and all that," Lucas said, "but I came here and these squad leaders and these physical therapists, they got 30 different soldiers they got to deal with every day and they still take time to make me feel special."

He says because the physical therapy program is so great, he's ahead of schedule and now walking on his knee just fine. "I am recovering rather fast according to my surgeon," he said. "My surgery was January 14th and I'm dropping my crutches on Monday.  And so that's a little over 30 days and I've pretty much had total knee replacement other than a few parts."

Lucas comes in for physical therapy twice a week so they can monitor his healing progress and make sure he's doing his exercises correctly. But that's not all they do. They make sure his entire recovery process is on track. "I go to my case manager she's already got my slips for when I've got appointments and everything, and I get it all in the same day," he said.

And they'll even coordinate his schedule so a check-up with his surgeon is the same day as his physical therapy appointment. "There's just no way one person could have done this all by themselves," he said. "They would have been overwhelmed. And that's what the WTU's been good at, helping get all this taken care of for us."

The next step for soldiers like Lucas is to make that transition back into their original units and report for duty, or transition back to civilian life.