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FILE In this May 30, 2012 file photo, U.S. Army Sgt. Josh Olson enters the indoor shooting range for practice at Fort Benning, Ga. Olson was on a routine patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq, when a grenade that was lobbed at his Humvee exploded. He lost his right leg in the attack, and would end up spending 18 months at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The number of seriously wounded and ill soldiers is at a six-year low, so the Army is closing down and reorganizing some of the special units set up to care for them. Fourteen of 38 so-called Warrior Transition Units will be phased out and a dozen community based units will be created under the reorganization plan. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Army closing Utah center for wounded soldiers

First Published Jan 09 2014 04:00 pm • Last Updated Jan 09 2014 08:38 pm

The Army is closing an office at Camp Williams that helps wounded soldiers transition back to civilian life.

Thirteen similar offices are closing across the country. But the Army is opening or enhancing 13 transition facilities on army posts, including one at Fort Riley, Kan., that will provide services for wounded Utah soldiers, said Robert Moore, a spokesman for Army’s Warrior Transition Command. Many Utah soldiers already stop at Fort Riley on their return from war zones, Moore said.

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The Army is making the changes as it prepares for fewer troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army is not trying to save money, Moore said, but rather seeks "efficiencies in terms of performing more robust services."

The transition center at Fort Riley will be able to offer more services, Moore said, and personnel there will make periodic trips to Utah for what are called "musters," where soldiers and former soldiers meet to discuss their adjustments what services they need.

The Utah transition center served 249 soldiers or former soldiers in January 2013, but that number declined to 187 by July, according to the Army.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle




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