Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Awareness is Key!

Greetings, friends,
        We send you a rallying call today:  keep sharing the vital role of Caregivers in the Continuum of Care!
        We never use those words glibly:  Continuum of Care.  Caregivers know it is by their actions and commitment that compassionate care supports our brave injured, ill, or wounded troops.  We know that you are the essential backbone of that care, and that your crucial role is often overlooked.
        Recently, more serious media attention has been given to warriors, veterans, and their Caregivers.  After the September 27th NY Times article on Veteran Caregiving, the CBS News  evening broadcast included a piece on Warrior Caregiving on October 7th (above photo, video to follow).  On Saturday, Pamela Eggleston of Blue Star Families and I participated in a panel discussion regarding women veterans and service family needs, including the value of Caregivers in recovery (below).  Very tough topics such as MST (military sexual trauma or rape/assault), equity in benefits for Guard/Reserve, and the evolving VA medical system to address women's issues were discussed, and Caregiving needs resonated with the attendees.
        We are spending significant time talking with DoD and VA leadership about proactive assistance and timely follow-through.  There is unfortunate bureaucracy in managing chronic pain, depression, invisible injuries (PTS and TBI), family health issues, and comprehensive care plans.  Suicide prevention will always be a deep concern.  As you are aware, under the "feel good" stories are unresolved darker stories that may follow if we do not keep assertively sharing service family challenges and casting light into the dimmer corners.  

        In short, we appreciate you and your commitment.  Maya Angelou said this:  “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”  Tell your stories and shine the Light !


PS:  Even our foreign counterparts are requesting briefings about the role of Caregiving in reintegration after injury.  Let your voices be heard!

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