November is an important month for the military. On Veterans Day, we honored all who have defended our country and fought for our freedom. On Thanksgiving, we will express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. And throughout the month, we honor the servicemembers who have become wounded, ill, or injured and their Families as part of Warrior Care Month.
Warrior Care Month is a special time to acknowledge wounded warriors, their Families, and caregivers. This year’s theme, “Army Strong—Family Strong: caring for wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers by supporting their Families and caregivers” reminds us that Families provide a source of stability and strength for every wounded Soldier.
Just like all Army Families, the Families of wounded Soldiers involve a number of different people. It’s every combination of parents, spouses, children, aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends, and neighbors who do the heavy lifting and support the wounded Soldier. During Warrior Care Month, we honor those who travel to the Soldier’s bedside just as much as we honor those who stay home and keep the Family running – paying the bills, making sure the children get to school. And for most AW2 Families, it’s a long journey that involves surgery after surgery, avoiding the Soldier’s triggers, and learning how to care for the injuries for months, years, after the Soldier leaves the hospital. Loving a wounded Soldier is a whole new way of life.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many AW2 Families and caregivers during my own recovery and now as AW2 Director. I’m always struck by their tenacity and sincerity. To each one of you, I encourage you to keep fighting for your AW2 Soldier, keep holding his/her hand, and keep believing that your Family will come out of these challenges stronger than you ever imagined.