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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Soldiers' Questions

Q1.How many surgeries will I need?

A1. Your surgeon will discuss with you the surgeries that you will require. Because each injury is unique there is no simple answer to this question. The level of amputation and other aspects related to the surgery will be discussed with you so that you can actively participate in the decision making process, which will affect the rest of your life.

Q2.What other factors affect how long I will stay at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC)?

A2. Co-morbidity issues. There are frequently a number of injuries occurring simultaneously. These may be multiple amputations, eye injuries, hearing injuries or others. As your medical needs dictate, other specialty area, including audiology, speech, ophthalmology and general and plastic surgery are directly involved in your care.

Q3.How does convalescent leave work?

A3. Your treatment team will work with you to determine the optimal time for you to take convalescent leave. You can receive recommendations for 1 - 30 days of convalescent leave (DA-31). The military will pay for ONE round trip ticket. Please remember that fact when you plan on convalescent leave with your doctor. You will obtain the request for con leave from your doctor. This can be documented on your profile, your inpatient discharge summary, or a physician's sick slip. Please remember you must coordinate your convalescent leave requirements with your Social Worker and Nurse Case Manager. This coordination will ensure all of your health care needs are addressed during the time you are on leave.

Q4.Will the Army pay for any of my family's travel expenses?

A4. The military will pay for your family's travel expenses if they are on Invitational Travel Orders (ITO) issued by Department of the Army. ITOs will be issued and extended as long as you remain on either Very Seriously Ill (VSI) or Seriously Ill (SI) status while you are on the inpatient unit. Once you are discharged from the hospital your family will no longer qualify for extended ITOs.

Q5.What other financial assistance is available for my family while they are here?

A5. Your family may access the Hero Miles Program through the Fisher Foundation if they are in need of airline tickets to come and see you. They may also qualify for assistance with lodging through the Fisher Foundation. Ask your Social Worker or Nurse Case Manager for further information.

Q6.Can I also access the Hero Miles Program?

A6. The Hero Miles Program is designed to assist both you and your family members obtain airline tickets at no cost. The requests are processed immediately and arrangements are made. However, dates and times are not always available and you and your family may have to wait several days on your reservations. Please be patient with our staff during this process. You can obtain the applications from the staff at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center. This program is administered by the Fisher Foundation.

Q7.The Medical Board process is hard for me to understand. Where can I get clear information?

A7. If a Medical Board has been initiated, you may contact the Medical Board Counselors. They will be able to answer your questions. They also run an MEB/PEB briefing every other Thursday from 0800-1200. Check with your Social Worker or Nurse Case Manager for specific dates. Additionally, the Army Career and Alumni Program, Texas Veterals Commission, Texas Veterans Land Board, Veterans Administration (VA) and Department of Labor will also profide pertinent information at this briefing.

Q8.I have had a number of individuals or companies call and offer to provide my care and prosthetic devices. Can I accept these offers?

A8. You should contact the JAG office for guidance on this issue.

Q9.Where do I go once my treatment is complete and I only need periodic follow up?

A9. You must be medically cleared by OT, PT, Prosthetics, Orthpaedics and Physical Medicine before you will be returned to your unit/mobilization site. Return to your unit/mob site is dependent on your reaching appropriate rehabilitation goals and on the availability of specialty care you may need where you will reside. We need to ensure the care you need is available and consistent. If the care is unavailable, you will reside at BAMC throughout your recovery/rehabilitation. If you do not need to return to BAMC more than monthly, you may return to your unit/mobilization site to reside. Your unit will be responsible for providing you with TDY orders so you may return for your appointments. Your Social Worker or Nurse Case Manager will coordinate your transfer back to your base when you are ready.

Q10.How do I transition to the VA for care?

A10. If you separate from the military, then this question applies to you. While you are receiving care at Brooke Army Medical Center as an inpatient or outpatient, you need to have continuous contact with the VA representatives (Benefits and Healthcare) located on the fifth floor. They will explain all of the programs available to you and how to get your disability packet ready to submit to the VA. You can get your packet ready and completed, except for the DD214. This enables a smoother, quicker transition from Military to VA care. There are multiple programs in place to assist the injured veteran (while on and off of active duty) and it is in your best interest to see the VA representatives as soon as you can.

Families' and Friends' Questions

Q1.How can I contact a patient in the BAMC Amputee Care Center?

A1. To send mail to an inpatient at BAMC:
BAMC Mail Room
Attn: <Service Member's Name>
3551 Roger Brooke Dr.
Dept. 1000
Ward No: <ward number>; Bed No: <bed number>
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200
*** To find out a service member's ward and bed numbers, call (210) 916-4141 ***

To telephone an inpatient at BAMC:
Call (210) 916-4141 with the service member's name

To send mail to a resident of the Guest House:
<Service Member's Name>
General Delivery
2108 9th St. #14
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-0514

Q2.How can I donate money to help the patients in the Amputee Care Center?

A2. Money can be donated through several organizations. Please contact them directly.

Soldier and Family Assistance Center
Ms. Judith Markelz
(210) 357-2705 or (210) 241-0811
Powless Hall (the guest house), 2nd floor

Soldier's Angels

Wounded Warrior Project

Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund

You can also donate airline miles through Operation Hero Miles to help the families of injured soldiers travel to their loved ones' bedsides.

Q3.How can I volunteer my time to help the patients in the Amputee Care Center?

A3. Learn about volunteer opportunities by contacting the Soldier and Family Assistance Center or the BAMC Office of Volunteer Services at 210-916-5083.