Tending to the Wounded, Care Done Right
Young Government Leaders (YGL) and GovLoop present the NextGen Public Service Awards for superior public service and achievement. The 4th Annual NextGen Public Service Awards will be given at the 2014 NextGen Award’s Ceremony, which will kick off the NextGen Training Summit on July 23rd in Washington, DC. We have 18 finalists in six different categories. All month long we will be introducing you to the finalists.
Meet the Finalist:
Who: Carrie Holley-McCormack, Social Worker, Warrior Transition Company
Achievement: NextGen Public Service Award Finalist, Innovator of the Year Category.
“Carrie works with United States Army wounded warriors coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. She helps with their family reunions by holding classes, counseling sessions, retreats, seminars, and interacts within the command to insure that the service member is adequately taken care of in every way possible. She comes to work early, stays late, works at home, if necessary, to insure that the service member and their families are completely cared for and all their needs are met. Carrie is comprehensive in her care for the service member. She does not stop working with a service member and their families until everything is right.” – Walter Leverette,Pastoral Counselor, Naval Medical Center San Diego. Leverette noiminated Holley-McCormack for the NextGen Public Service Award.
The daughter of a Marine, Holley-McCormack was born to be a social worker. “I got my degree in social work, got my master’s and really decided during my master’s program that I wanted to work with military families,” she explained. “I had a passion to give back to the community that I had grown up in.”
The Warrior Transition Unit, where Holley-McCormack is employed, works with soldiers who are going through the medical board process. Soldiers are put through a pretty intensive psychosocial investment to see what their needs are and get them involved with any kind of behavioral health treatment that they may need.
“I do a lot of relationship type counseling with our soldiers,” Holley-McCormack said. “I’ve had a few couples that I’ve done couples counseling with. Sometimes just the soldiers come in and they’ve been having some communication issues, and I am able to work through some of those issues with them.”
Holley-McCormack also works to stabilize faltering marriages that have been damaged due to frequent and sometime lengthy deployments. She said spouses often deal with a partner who’s not quite the same as he or she was prior to deployed. “I help soliders manage their feelings as a spouse.”
What makes Holley-McCormack such a valuable asset to the Warrior Transition Unit is her ability to communicate effectively with both the soldiers and their spouses. “When soldiers arrive and we do our initial intake, I let them know up front that I was a Army brat, because sometimes that kind of lets them feel loved,” she said. “You need to establish a rapport.”
Although the work can be grueling Holley-McCormack said she wouldn’t want any other job. “I’ve always wanted to help people. I get to encourage young soldiers and find out what makes them happy. I get to help them look in and find their strengths, and help them set goals that they attain while they’re transitioning.”