May is the Month of the Military Caregiver which provides an opportunity to help raise awareness for more than 5.5 million men, women, and children who provide support—often behind the scenes, as unpaid caregivers of our current, military service members and veterans
In 2011, Former Senator Elizabeth Dole became a caregiver when her husband (former Senator Bob Doyle) spent 11 months at Walter Reed hospital recuperating. Seeing the stress, strain, and challenges on the family caregivers of our wounded warriors, she witnessed “hidden heroes” caring for those who care for us.
Mrs. Dole discovered the need for comprehensive evidence-based research which led to her commissioning the RAND Corporation to undertake the country’s largest national study on military caregivers and their needs. The results: the health, wealth being, and recovery of our wounded warriors is significantly enhanced by a strong well-supported caregiver.
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP) offers clinical services to caregivers of eligible and covered Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. CSP is a national program with local offices and teams located within VA facilities. www.caregiver.va.gov
Though not an exhaustive list, other organizations, programs, resources, education, training, respite, and peer support for military caregivers include:
- 2023 #Sleepmatters Cruise
- AARP Veterans and Caregiver Support
- AARP Veterans Fraud Center
- American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network
- Blue Start Caregivers Empowering Caregivers
- Easter Seals Military and Veteran Caregiving
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation – Hidden Heroes
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation – Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation – The Hope Fund for Critical Financial Assistance for Military Caregivers
- Fisher House
- Give an Hour
- Hearts of valor
- Hope for the Warriors – Military Spouse Scholarships & Caregiver Scholarships
- Military One Source
- Operation Family Caregiver
- Operation Homefront
- Powerful tools for caregivers
- Soldier’s Angels Women of Valor
- Vets 4 Warriors
- Wounded Veteran Family Care
- Children/Youth Military Caregivers
- American Association of Caregiving Youth
- Hidden Helpers:
- Semper Fi Fund
- Sesame Street
To all military caregivers…
I want you to know; I see you getting tired.
I want you to know; I can feel your weight.
I want you to know; I can hear you thinking.
How much more can I take?
Hold on. Be strong. Don’t quit, don’t give up, don’t give in.
Even when decisions you make break your heart.
Remember, you’re a caregiver. Remember you’re a caregiver.
There are arms open; to hug your fears.
There’s a breeze stirring; to dry your tears.
There’s a rainbow coming; to brighten your world.
There are oceans calming; to give you a pearl.
There are raindrops falling; to water your bloom.
There are waves parting; to give you some room.
There are trees bending; that owe you shade.
There is time waiting; for sacrifices you’ve made.
Remember, you’re a caregiver; remember you’re a caregiver.
Poem written by America’s Heroes Group Military Families Matters” Partner Caregiver Keisha Jackson; a 22-year retired Air Force veteran and family caregiver advocate.