Center for the Intrepid revives wounded warriors - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Center for the Intrepid revives wounded warriors

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The FOX7 Care Force is honoring our wounded warriors by looking at a place that helps make them whole again, if not in body then certainly in spirit.

The Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center is one of three military rehab centers in the country.

It looks like your local health club, the gym full of exercise equipment, there's a pool area, even a kitchen. But look again, it's no typical health club.

The official mission for this place is to take in wounded military after their hospital stays and prepare them for their prosthetics and braces and then send them out into the world. But the mission in reality is far more profound. This is a gathering place for wounded warriors and a starting point.

Chad Molenhour lost his left leg.

"Everyone's unique but they are the same too, same injuries, types of pain, things we're going through...and we help each other and it's good to hear others stories going through things emotionally and physically and maybe we can help someone else out by sharing our story," Molenhour.

So while they get the practical rehab and training from the professionals like learning to walk and move in a new way. They also get the emotional support and motivation from each other. It's something the staff sees every day.

"Everyone is in different stages of rehab, some new, some playing sports and for someone to get out of the hospital and see other folks doing things that's powerful. They teach each other, help each other, and ride each other. But it's positive and goes a long way toward the success of this facility," Physical Therapist Major Terence Fee said.

It's quite a facility. There's the physical therapy, there's the occupational therapy like learning how to turn a knob again and for military members who have lost their limbs in combat, there's therapeutic training to learn how to drive again, the same for cooking. There's even a bedroom for dealing with household chores. Some vets need to learn how to change the baby with a prosthetic arm.

The prosthetics and the exoskeletons are made on site, custom fitted to each person. In this field the state of the art is happening right here. It's just about everything a wounded warrior would need to re-join the world.

"Everybody works together here to get you up on your feet, they do what it takes...and it's amazing," U.S. Army Sgt. Stephan Jackel said.

The Center for the Intrepid opened in 2007. It was paid for with donations from the public, 600,000 people contributed. On average about 400 troops a year go through the center.

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