Fort Knox opening facility for wounded soldiers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fort Knox opening facility for wounded soldiers

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FORT KNOX, Ky. (WDRB) -- Wounded warriors will soon have a new place to heal and recover in Fort Knox. The Sumner Warrior Battalion Complex will benefit thousands of soldiers.

Wednesday afternoon, military officials cut the ribbon on the Warrior Transition Battalion designed to accommodate soldiers recovering from injuries or illnesses."

This ribbon cutting at Ft. Knox opens the door to healing and recovery for thousands of soldiers like Sgt. Austin Westerman who was wounded by enemy fire in Afghanistan in 2008.

Westerman is one of more than 200 soldiers who will move into the new Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Knox.

"What we do is we transition them here, meaning that they come and do their health recovery plan," said Lt. Col. Dwight Lewis, commander of the Warrior Transition Battalion.

The complex is equipped to care for the soldiers for up to six months if needed. It will serve as a transition point for wounded servicemen and women from seven states.

"And then after they finish with their transition from the plan, then we transition them back home to their hometown if they are reserve or guard or back to the unit if they're active duty," Lewis said.

Westerman is grateful for the facility.

"You don't realize how much help you really do need, so it's very necessary for these people to back you up," Westerman said.

Westerman is already being treated for scrap metal that's still in his left arm but he also likes that his new home offers easy access to everything else he needs.

"I got a case manager, I got the hospital right across the street -- we've got a bus that can take us right there," Westerman said.

Construction on the Sumner Warrior Transition Battalion is scheduled to be finished by the end of the month and that's when soldiers will move in.

The complex is named in honor of Sgt. Major William E. Sumner, who served in three wars.

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