A recent caller to my radios program shared her journey as a caregiver. Combat-related PTSD led her military son down some dark paths—including drugs and alcohol, and his family disintegrated. This grandmother found herself with an impaired son and vulnerable grandchildren. When considering the word “caregiver,” most think of caring for the elderly. Yet many kinds of caregivers exist—and each of them bears their own sadness and difficulties. It is often stated that soldiers leave a part of themselves on the battlefield. Sometimes, caregivers work to compensate for those missing pieces as they care for the seen and unseen wounds of injured servicemen and women. While our military is composed of those who volunteer to don the uniform, an additional and less visible army of volunteers exists. Those volunteers are family caregivers who stand in the gap for wounded warriors—and often their families. Their acts of devotion not only serve their loved ones but also honor this great nation.

There is much more to being a patriot and citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag. – Jesse Ventura  

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