In a ceremony on March 14th, MG Jimmie O. Keenan, commanding general, U.S. Army Public Health Command spoke about the vital role of women in the military, while spotlighting Women in Military Service for America at Arlington National Cemetery. Stunning strides have been made in a relatively short time to offer women leadership and crucial responsibilities in the armed forces, including the appointment of LtGen Patty Donoho as the first female Surgeon General of the Army. Glass ceilings may be broken for good, strong, intelligent women!
During the same ceremony, one of our favorite wounded warriors at Walter Reed, SSgt Stefanie Mason, spoke about the influence of strong women in her life, citing first her grandmother (a Navy nurse), and then her mother, Paulette Mason. Stefanie, who sustained nine head fractures, TBI, and a severe leg injury in Afghanistan is now hoping to compete in the ParaOlympic Games in London for gold in swimming. She has come a very, very long way from her Alive Day. Stefanie credited her mother’s caregiving with aiding her recovery, and also her ability to move forward successfully in her life after her injuries. As you know, as Caregivers, you shoulder not only the physical rehabilitation, but the mental health of your warrior – while also keeping the rest of your life in order as best you can.
Best of all, though, was the recognition during this ceremony provided by MG Keenan to Paulette Mason as a Caregiver. General Keenan asked first that Paulette stand up in the auditorium. She then singled her out for her caregiving dedication and commitment with these words: “Mothers are an integral part of our life, and in the case of a wounded warrior, the role of women with their unique ability to multi-task, to support, and to love is so important. What is more precious to a mother than her child? Thank you for sacrificing your daily life to support your daughter and our soldier”. Similar words would be appropriate for the rest of the spouses, fathers, siblings, and friends who also shoulder warrior and veteran caregiving.
Please join us in joy that when one Caregiver is recognized, the Caregiver Role itself is highlighted. We applaud General Keenan for her thoughtful words, Stefanie Mason for her dedicated fervor toward recovery, and we give a special shout-out to Caregiver Paulette Mason. We welcome writing about any of you who are recognized, and thank you for your continued daily work and sacrifice.
The article link is below. You matter.