Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Navy military caregiver pays it forward

Image of Group of men and women on a stage, some standing, some sitting. Amy Cozad (center), Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad (far right) and the Navy team enter the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida to participate in the Department of Defense Warrior Games this past June. More than 300 athletes from the U.S. and six partner nations competed in the 2019 DoD Warrior Games. (Photo by Roger Wollenberg.)

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Disability Evaluation

Amy Cozad has been married to Kyle Cozad for over 35 years, and has been his caregiver for nearly three.

In 2018, Navy Rear Admiral Kyle Cozad accidentally slipped, landed on his back and broke two broken vertebrae. At the time, he was serving at the Commander of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).

The Cozad family went through a sudden life change when they received news that Kyle Cozad could be a paraplegic for the rest of his life. Amy knew that this will change a lot of their normal routine, including new obstacles that they will have to face head on. Amy also knew that she had to find a way for her family to be as involved and informed throughout Kyle’s recovery.

The Warrior Games and Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program helped the Cozad family understand their new reality and provided them with an “overwhelming” amount of support and resources that they never knew were available.

For the first few months of Kyle’s rehabilitation and recovery, the Cozad’s were scrambling to deal with the “shocking” news. Being a new Military Caregiver, Amy was diving into a new world of responsibilities, medicine, and regulations for the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB). Amy shared many of the new challenges that they faced, such as, “learning the difference between selecting VA Care and civilian care or both. We couldn’t get certain appointments because he’s only temporary, well what does that mean? Every state has different levels of handicap we learned about it through experience. We were just learning as we went.”

The annual Warrior Games brings recovering service members, military caregivers, and their families together to participate in fun competition and adaptive sports. For Kyle and Amy, within the five months of trials, training, and being a part of the games, it was a whole new learning experience. “I must’ve filled out five notebooks worth of information. I found out there were resources specifically for paraplegics, adaptive sport equipment that we could get for free, family therapy and activities, and more, it was all the information we needed” Amy laughs.

During the Warrior Games, they got to connect with families of recovering service members who were paraplegics, and they all shared. Amy elaborated, “The first 3 years your new normal change every month, after the three year mark. It could make the process slower, or it may not depending on a variety of reasons”. One of the Cozad’s favorite thing about the Warrior Games was that rank was not a major factor, just working together as a team to win. Amy stated, “There was a rumor going around that there was an admiral participating and no one knew who. And we kind of stayed quiet, until we were recognized by a Navy service member who was previously under Kyle at NETC. We were here just like everyone else, and focused on our goal of training to win, gathering information, and our recovery process.”

During the practices and trials, Amy and Kyle had the opportunity to be adventurous and try different adaptive sports, speak with coaches who have either been to the Olympics or have years of dedicated experience, and speak with other military families happy to share their experiences and tips. The practices also allowed Amy and Kyle to break away from each other and focus on themselves. At first while Kyle was on the field, Amy was in the stands and felt hesitant to leave. Eagerly watching to see if she could help in anyway, but eventually they both realized that they were in good hands. Amy was free to grab a cup of coffee and tour the training center with other caregivers. During this time, Amy learned how valuable the first year of recovery is for not just her husband, but also her family.

As an admiral and leader in the Naval community, Kyle and Amy were surprised at the low number of Navy recovering service members participating and Naval military families. This has inspired the Cozads’ to provide free mentorship advice to the Naval recovering service community.

“We are mentoring around 24 young Navy service members who have had bad accidents,” explained Amy. “We help in different ways, by sharing with families our experiences and how we were able to deal with the shock of a sudden new lifestyle. Kyle, as a leader in the community, assists Navy RSMs with writing letters of recommendation and sharing how the program has helped him personally with his recovery.”

In August 2020, Kyle Cozad retired from the Navy, and is now the President/CEO at the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Although he has made progress with his recovery, and can even walk for a short amount of time, there are still hurdles that his family needs to overcome for his recovery.

“As a Military Spouse, we learn to be independent and the problem solvers,” Amy shared. “The fix it person! But now you need to reach out and ask for help, realize that you can’t fix everything.”

The Warrior Care Recovery Coordination Program has helped the Cozad family by opening their eyes to a new normal and coping skills. “We realize how truly blessed we are and enjoy each and every day!”

You also may be interested in...

OWF sailor finds a sense of purpose with ICE internship

Article
12/22/2020
Woman holding award plaque, surrounded by colleagues

OWF coordinates non-funded federal internships between qualified wounded, ill and injured service members and a variety of federal agencies..

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Military medicine confronts an invisible enemy

Article
12/4/2020
Medical personnel set up in an outside military tent

The collective response to the pandemic underscored the MHS reputation for innovation, with practical applications beyond military medicine.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Warrior Care | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

The Walkups: Army service is in their blood

Article
12/1/2020
Five young men standing in a line, wearing the same t-shirt and pants

Of his seven living siblings, two are active-duty Army captains and two more are in Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC).

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

MHS Minute: November 2020

Video
11/27/2020
MHS Minute: November 2020

During Warrior Care Month, we reflect on the strength and resilience of our nation's wounded, ill, and injured service members, and recognize the caregivers who support their recovery and rehabilitation.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus | Warrior Care

Warrior Care Month puts a spotlight on the inTransition Program

Article
11/25/2020
Two women in an office, talking

inTransition supports service members and veterans who want to get connected to mental health care in their area.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care | | Warrior Care | Psychological Fitness

NMCPHC fights tobacco addiction

Article
11/23/2020
Woman showing man a poster about smoking cessation

Managing the Navy’s tobacco cessation efforts is “job one” for Long.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Tobacco-Free Living | Warrior Care

Caregivers share their stories of support for TBI recovery

Article
11/23/2020
Group of people walking and on wheelchairs through the forest

"Recovery is possible to help lead a normal life."

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury | Warrior Care

Warrior Care’s MASP gives perspective to new commander

Article
11/19/2020
Man standing next to his bike in an office

MASP...provides adaptive reconditioning activities and competitive athletic opportunities to eligible wounded, ill and injured Service members.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Warrior Care

Army doctors provide COVID-19 safety tips for the holiday season

Article
11/17/2020
Soldiers wearing masks, looking at flight information in airport

Celebrating the holidays during a pandemic may bring additional challenges for people this year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

BACH behavioral health team honored with Army’s Wolf Pack Award

Article
11/17/2020
Military personnel standing in a room, listening to a speaker

The ceremony honored eight individuals and three teams who contributed to exceeding the goal of collecting 10,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Recovering service members, not just a number with OWF

Article
11/10/2020
image of Mr. Rodriguez in uniform

OWF is a...program that matches qualified wounded, ill and injured service members with non-funded federal internships.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Warrior Care RCP’s multitude of programs supports the Warfighter

Article
11/6/2020
Three men shooting arrows at targets

Since 2008, The Department of Defense has recognized November as Warrior Care Month.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Warrior Care

Indiana National Guard amputee stays true to his motto - ‘Never Quit’

Article
11/3/2020
Soldier with leg prosthesis putting on his shoe.

Life and limbs are often casualties.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Warrior Care

1020.01

Policy

Reasonable Accommodations

  • Identification #: 1020.01
  • Date: 11/2/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Disability Evaluation

Suicide Impacts Us All – But There Is Help!

Article
9/14/2020
Man at sporting event kissing his wife and baby

September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Warrior Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 6
Refine your search
Last Updated: November 01, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.