Travel and Funding
For Very Seriously Injured or Ill (VSI) or Seriously Injured or Ill (SI) patients, the Primary Next of Kin (PNOK) can be issued Invitational Travel Orders (ITOs) if the attending physician determines it is essential to the recovery of the patient and it is verified by the hospital commander. The Services can provide transportation and lodging for up to three family members when a service member is classified as VSI or SI, as determined by the attending physician and hospital commander upon injury. ITOs will be offered to immediate family members (spouse, children, mother, father, siblings (including step) OR those acting in loco parentis. The Service point of contact or hospital will provide information concerning travel regulations. Transportation and lodging are provided in two week increments. Wounded service members’ cases are evaluated every two weeks and at the discretion of the attending physician, family members are authorized additional time on their ITOs.
Where You Will Stay
If the family members are traveling on ITOs, the Services arrange for their lodging before they travel to be with the wounded service member. Families are housed in local hotels, guest lodging at a military installation, or a Fisher House, which is "a home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Fisher Houses provide comfortable, temporary housing for families of service members recovering from serious medical conditions. Families stay at Fisher Houses free, as it is underwritten by the Fisher House Foundation. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available.
Availability of Child Care
Hourly child care slots are often hard to access on military installations and so families should not assume there is child care available. Child care is an added expense for families and is not covered in the ITO reimbursement. The individual who notifies you about your service member’s injury can direct you to the installation child development center to help you determine if you can make child care arrangements. There may be community resources available to assist with child care. Do not forget to bring a copy of the child’s shot record as you will need this to register your child at any child care facility. Some medical facilities have Family Assistance Centers (FACs) that provide assistance to the families of wounded service members once they arrive at the military treatment facility. The FACs should be able to provide child care information.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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