For many caregivers of wounded veterans, life becomes dedicated to the attention that injured service member needs every day. From dawn until well after dusk, it is a job that offers little personal time, and little thanks.
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is dedicated to the long-term care of the most seriously injured service members. The Independence Program helps veterans with mild-to-severe traumatic brain injury, spinal-cord injury, or other neurological issues. The Independence Program works with the wounded service member, his or her family, and his or her case manager to create a plan to allow the warrior to live life on his or her terms. Additionally, the Long-Term Support Trust (LTST) creates a safety net for the wounded veteran if anything happens to his or her caregiver. The Trust will ensure care for a lifetime.
WWP knows just how important caregivers are in the recovery of these injured veterans. It is why WWP provides time to get away and recharge.
A dozen caregivers recently enjoyed the opportunity to bond and learn new techniques to focus their energy at a caregiver summit in Indian Wells, California.
Melissa Comeau, wife and caregiver of a wounded veteran, loved the chance to enjoy meals without having to prepare them. “I really appreciate when I don’t have to worry about dinner,” Melissa said. “I don’t have to cook or clean, just enjoy.”
She also learned about relaxation techniques. “I was inspired to get back into yoga,” Melissa said. “I was reminded of the power of breath as a way to calm down and ease tension. The Tai Chi was also helpful. Learning how to stand in a relaxed state will be useful on stressful days when I may not have a moment to sit down.”
Along with techniques to handle rough days, Melissa enjoyed spending time with her fellow caregivers. “One night, a few of us curled up together on a mound of pillows and simply relaxed,” Melissa said. “It was beautiful and fun like a good old-fashioned sleep over.”
WWP recently launched Warrior Care Network, a partnership with four academic medical centers, to improve access to quality mental health care for today’s generation of injured service members. Warrior Care Network is a $100 million investment alongside UCLA Medical Center’s Operation Mend, Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center’s Road Home, Emory Healthcare’s Veterans Program, and Home Base by Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn more details about the partnership at warriorcarenetwork.org.
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit their website.