In 2004 Operation Comfort began remodeling waiting rooms at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas because family members of wounded Service Members were at the hospital for months and years, due to burns, amputations, traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. In total there have been twelve waiting rooms remodeled as well as the Marine Corps Annex.
The wounded troops said they wanted to participate in sports and work on cars. We began raising money for handcycles, road bikes, trikes, recumbents and even a tandem so they could ride bikes. We began a sled hockey team so the amputees could play a full contact sport, started a car program “Automotivation” where they can learn to work on cars and began a family financial assistance program.
Operation Comfort was started by Janis Roznowski, an American Airlines flight attendant who was part of a team transporting soldiers to and from the Middle East. Janis says, “Having had the great experience of being in the presence of some of the bravest men and women I have ever met, makes me realize that we can never do enough for them. I believe that our military men and women are truly our nation’s National Treasure. Now that they are wounded, we must do what we can for them.”
• Our Wounded Military First:
Operation Comfort believes in showing our wounded men and women that they are appreciated, valued and respected. Our focus is to provide rehabilitative therapeutic programs for them while they are recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center. These programs are sled hockey, hand cycling, amputee surfing, Automotivation – a program where they can work on cars, woodworking, outings and a family financial assistance program which helps the families get over the financial burden they encounter while taking care of their loved one.
• Their Family Second:
Operation Comfort believes that assisting the families directly impacts the wounded in a positive manner. Because the rehabilitation of our Servicemen oftentimes requires family members to be close by, we make every effort to help them when financial difficulties arise. Many of the families are at the bedside of their wounded Service Member and are unable to return to work, yet their bills continue on. It is our hope that our wounded will recover faster and more completely when they are not burdened with family concerns.
• Their Military Comrades Third:
Operation Comfort believes in strong relationships, support systems, and understands how important combat buddies are in the lives of our wounded. We recognize the need of the wounded Service Members to stay in contact with their military comrades as well as family members who are unable to travel to San Antonio. To make this possible, partnering with CISCO SYSTEMS, we were able to provide free telephone service in a number of different areas within the hospital, Fisher House and the barracks. We want the Service Men and their families to stay in touch with no cost to the family.