They are called Caregivers. They give up their jobs, their freedom of movement, and any spare time they have to be there for the ones they love.
In this world of eye-watering medicine, many men and women are coming home from the battlefield that, in past wars, would most likely have not made it. That fact is a testament to technology and selfless service by the medical professionals who go into harm’s way to care for our wounded troops.
Although lucky to be alive, some of those coming home simply cannot take care of themselves because of their physical (and sometimes mental) injuries. They may be newly blind, missing limbs, have suffered brain injury or a host of other wounds that prevent them from being independent. The Department of Defense and VA can only do so much. So like angels, the caregivers step in.
In a recent article, John R. Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Warrior Care Policy said, “Caregivers are a growing, yet unrecognized, community within our nation’s military population, and like the wounded, ill or injured Service member they care for, they face enormous pressures and make tremendous sacrifices. They have given up careers and moved great distances to sit beside and advocate for their recovering hero. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.”
But they don’t have to do it alone. The VA has a program for which caregivers can apply, and if accepted can get a monthly stipend, travel expenses, access to health care insurance, counseling, training, and even some paid time off. The details are at http://www.caregiver.va.gov/support_benefits.asp.
It has to be tough, but the care (and in most cases, genuine love) they show our wounded warriors is truly inspiring. They are our heroes of the week.