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    GATHER Veterans

    Honoring Military Caregivers

    March was Honor Military Caregivers Month, but here at GATHER Veterans we realize that honoring military caregivers should happen all year round!! Imagine this….

     

    On a fine morning, you are going about your day, quickly running errands and busy taking care of your job and family when you receive a call. You are informed that your partner who works for the military has gotten gravely injured; their life has completely changed forever. 

    When it comes to the US military, more than 32,000 service members have been physically injured during combat. The Veteran Affairs (VA) medical centers work tirelessly to ensure that these heroes receive the best possible care, but their loved ones have to deal with the severe consequences. 

    Last month, we celebrated ‘the military caregivers,’ i.e., the hidden heroes who work tirelessly to support their partners who were ready to sacrifice their lives for our country. This month we continue and every month hereafter!

    Caregiving – Understanding The Emotional Strain 

    In the last few decades, caregiving has become increasingly common for Americans with military veterans as partners or family. In research by Rand, it was discovered that more than 5.5 million people are providing caregiving services for military veterans. 

    We have to acknowledge that military caregivers are often responsible for the military veteran’s health and well-being and responsible for running the household or managing their jobs. It takes incredible strength of character to handle this role, which can be highly exhausting and draining. Running errands, taking care of children, doing a full-time or part-time job, and taking care of a dependent is difficult. 

    A recent documentary, ‘The Weight of Honor,‘ presents a heartfelt journey of military caregivers struggling to care for their loved ones after their service in Afghanistan and Iraq. The war does not end for these soldiers and their families. Watching this documentary, we end up realizing just how hard it is for military caregivers to face the new challenges of supporting a physically injured military veteran. 

    Becoming a caregiver alters your relationship forever; the relationship has to bear the burden that the other person entirely relies on the caregiver for their survival.  

    It Goes Beyond the Hospital 

    The VA offers multiple benefits and programs to facilitate the caregivers. Military caregivers will find themselves eligible for financial benefits and other social support services. The federal government has designed these benefits to help and support caregivers who often have an incredible amount of responsibility on their shoulders. 

    However, beyond the hospitalization, the recovery process is intense and painful for the wounded family. Outside the hospital room, you are left to deal with a host of changes and responsibilities that administrative authorities cannot change. Once you are caring for a wounded warrior, your life will not be the same. 

    Honoring Military Caregivers This Past Month and Beyond!

    Last month, we acknowledged these ‘silent heroes.’ During the month, we honored and thank the family caregivers of veterans. We believe that it is crucial to recognize their service because they deserve special recognition for all the support they provide to the community of military veterans with service-connected disabilities. Don’t let March be the only month you not only honor military caregivers you know, but seek out others who may need your support and love.

    References
    1. https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/433809-march-is-military-caregivers-month-understanding-their-long-term-journey?rl=1
    2. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9764z4.html
    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXWRezSBn4M&ab_channel=KMBC9
    4. https://theweightofhonormovie.com/