Today it's about perspective. It’s not the heart-wrenching stories that drain us the most. It's the overall indifference.
There are hundreds of very tough stories, with just a few here:
- - A father of three dying of early onset dementia brain lesions after an FOB is set up directly over a 500 gallon fuel spill in the desert
- - A daughter who will forever re-live the systematic rapes and abuse for three years by her CO
- - A son who drove his car into a tree at over 120 mph to die, but gratefully who lived and continues to fight his PTSD
- - A family that lives on edge awaiting the rages/destruction/fierce silence of PTSD in a husband and Dad who won’t seek help, but whom they still love
What hurts us (and our nation) the most is the numbness of bureaucratic indifference. In just the last three days, we guided four caregivers to official contacts to improve their specific long-term situations (overdue expense reimbursement, foreclosure/eviction, cancelled utilities, change of physician). We made 17 calls of our own to try to break through the logjam.
Not a single time was a solution provided. Of the two people who answered their phones, they sympathized, but were also unable to help. We were cordial, asked for further guidance, thanked them, and yet, it is the ones that will not answer or respond to calls and email who could ultimately help. At least that is what we hope, for there is always a solution when people want to help.
We who support our veterans and their families do not have compassion fatigue.
We have Bureaucracy Fatigue. Lord, please help us to continue to press forward despite the weariness, indifference, and malaise. These caregivers, families, and veterans matter!
Linda Kreter & the VeteranCaregiver Team