Through the open window of his office in a portable building, Lt. Col. Everett Sharpe can hear the sound of progress as construction on new facilities for the Warrior Transition Battalion nears an end.
"They should be completed in March and April," said Sharpe, who heads a battalion of wounded and injured soldiers receiving care at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center's active duty rehabilitation unit.
Though the population fluctuates daily, the battalion averages about 250 soldiers.
The six buildings under construction will house a variety of services for injured soldiers. Additional personnel will be hired to cover every facet of a soldier's care. The building will house offices for social workers, occupational therapists and those specializing in the medical board process.
"This cadre will grow to 155," he said.
Wounded-soldier care was thrust into the limelight Feb. 18, 2007, when The Washington Post reported substandard living conditions for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center resulted in the firing of its commander, Maj. Gen. George Weightman, and the resignation of Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey.
In March 2007, a visit by a team of investigators from the surgeon general's office found no major problems at Fort Gordon, said Eisenhower's commander, Brig. Gen. Donald Bradshaw.
To improve conditions for wounded soldiers, the Army implemented an Army Medical Action Plan last spring.
"It took a look at how the Army was doing business and made sweeping changes," Sharpe said.
The new buildings and the services that will be housed there are among those changes.
More improvements could be on the way.
A $75 million complex for up to 450 wounded soldiers has been proposed, beginning next year. That would require congressional approval. Sharpe said he was not sure of its status.
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