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Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 11:20am

New Units Put Soldiers Closer To Care

Georgia's Ft. Stewart opened a new apartment complex for wounded soldiers.

The buildings are the latest the Army has built since a scandal over treatment of ill and injured soldiers.

Poor conditions at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. prompted the Army to create Warrior Transition Units five years ago.

The Ft. Stewart unit served more than 600 soldiers last year.

Lt. Col. William Reitemeyer says, its two new buildings allow physically and psychologically injured soldiers get care in one apartment-style setting.

"This consolidates the soliders into one location," Reitemeyer says. "You're with your comrades. You're not alone. And all the support structures are right there."

The complex has space for 240 soldiers and replaces older units that are more spread out.

"We had some barracks that were located here," Reitemeyer says. "Some small modular homes were right here next to our headquarters facility. And there were other barracks and other facilities on post that soldiers were in. It really separated them from their support structure. This makes it much easier."

The campus also includes a soldier family assistance center, opened two years ago, and a Warrior Transition Unit administrative center, scheduled for completion next year.

Nationwide, 29 Warrior Transition Units care for about 10,000 ill and injured soldiers.