Skip to main content

Military Health System

Recovering airman finds a new path with OWF support

Image of Air Force Tech Sgt. Adam Grimm  posing for a photo. Air Force Tech Sgt. Adam Grimm’s first mission to Papua New Guinea with Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech (Courtesy Photo).

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Internships give recovering service members the opportunity to test out a potential career field.

Within the Defense Health Agency, Operation Warfighter (OWF) allows Recovering Service Members the opportunity to intern with over 200 federal agencies. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam Grimm utilized this program, and with the help of his OWF Coordinator, Sandra Ambotaite, interned at Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs Hawaii.

In 2018, Grimm was introduced to the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program after being flagged for Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) review. Prior to this he had served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He was moved from his primary specialty, and was in a mobility training program that wasn't utilizing him to his best abilities. Grimm has heard about the OWF program and knew that it could help him find a purpose again. After being accepted into the program, Ambotaite and Grimm began searching for agencies that could help him find a new career and sense of purpose.

After several months of looking for suitable positions, DPAA expressed needing help in their travel office. The DPAA is an agency within the Department of Defense whose mission is to recover our military to their families and the nation. Grimm has had previous missions with DPAA in the past as a bomb tech, and therefore sincerely appreciated their mission.

During his 6-month internship, Grimm had the opportunity to work with military and civilian personnel, helped process DTS orders and vouchers, and learned the importance of meeting deadlines. "For an agency that has a 100+ mission queue at any time, falling behind can affect real world missions" explained Grimm. "I was happy to help their mission."

Air Force Tech Sgt. Adam Grimm and someone he trained while in Afghanistan
Air Force Tech Sgt. Adam Grimm trained local Afghanistan military in explosives during his first deployment to PNG. Two years later, during a second deployment, they ran into each other again (Courtesy Photo). 

Unfortunately, the MEB two-year mark was quickly approaching. With no official job offer from DPAA and the office shutting down due to COVID-19, Grimm reached out again to his OWF coordinator, Ambotaite, to find a new internship opportunity, preferably in the medical field.

During this time, Grimm started taking prerequisite courses for nursing at a local college. "I had been thinking about going into a medical career after service and was hoping to work at the VA clinic on Oahu," Grimm stated.

Ambotaite was able to make that possible, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the VA seeking extra assistance. During Grimm's time at the VA, he supported the administrative duties while also having the opportunity to shadow many medical offices at the VA clinic and the attached Army hospital.

Grimm explained that his experience there was a great opportunity to see the true side of a new world, the experience allowed him to see that maybe nursing wasn't the right fit for him. "I switched my college path to a master's in social work to start a private counseling practice. I'm on track to graduate in four years and have my own practice in six," Grimm shared.

Opportunities provided through AFW2 and OWF allowed Grimm to become more comfortable in his future and career choices. Grimm shared, "The time out of uniform and in more supportive roles was a huge help to foster my mental transition. In addition, I was able to help other's missions and explore an entire, very complicated, career path and decide the best true fit for me."

You also may be interested in...

Warrior Care: The Military Adaptive Sports Program

Video
12/7/2022
Warrior Care: The Military Adaptive Sports Program

Meet Coach Patrick Johnson, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who medically retired 13 years ago. Today he helps run Walter Reed's military adaptive sports program and coaches multiple crew teams in the National Capital Region. To learn more about military adaptive sports program, visit health.mil/warriorcare.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care – A Show of Strength | Warrior Care

Warrior Care

Video
10/14/2021
Warrior Care

DOD has no higher priority than caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and the caregivers who support them.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Show of Strength | Warrior Care – A Show of Strength

MHS and MOS: "Warrior Care" Town Hall

Video
6/22/2021
MHS and MOS: "Warrior Care" Town Hall

Jonathan Morris joins us to talk about Warrior Care and its importance

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 & the MHS Response | Warrior Care

Prince Harry, First Lady and Dr. Biden Visit Wounded Warriors to Promote Games

Video
11/6/2015
Prince Harry, First Lady and Dr. Biden Visit Wounded Warriors to Promote Games

Britain’s Prince Harry, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, visited wounded service members and their families during various events at Fort Belvoir, VA, Oct. 28. The visit is to promote the 2016 Invictus Games, a series of sporting events used to raise awareness for injured service members and their families.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Wounded Warrior Care Event

Video
11/2/2015
Wounded Warrior Care Event

Air Force Captain Chris Cochran speaks about how the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program rekindled his passion for archery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care
Showing results 1 - 6 Page 1 of 1
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 23, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery