By Debbie Gregory.
Well over two million U.S. armed forces service members have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly two-thirds of these men and women deployed before they turned 29. Over 20% of Post-9/11 era Veterans have been reported to have been treated for either PTSD or depression. And more than 50,000 service members have been seriously wounded in action.
Returning home with visible injuries can be extremely difficult for these Veterans and their families. Coming home with invisible wounds can prove to be even more difficult for some Veteran families. Studies have shown just the transitions from war to home and from the military to civilian life can be very rough on military and Veteran families.
That is why Operation Family Caregiver (OFC) offers coaching, information and resources to families of transitioning Veterans. Because no individual family has cookie-cutter problems, OFC is a personalized program, tailored specifically to the struggles of each individual family. OFC teaches military families how to cope with the changes and challenges they face in order to become stronger, healthier families.
The OFC staff believes that the key to creating the healthiest military families is by supporting the unsung heroes behind our nation’s heroes; meaning the loving families and friends that care for them when they come home.
OFC coaches work for local, community-based organizations. Coaches accommodate the families in the best ways possible, including visiting the caregiver’s home or meeting by phone/Skype. Coaches work with the families to customize a 16- to 24-week program that is unique to each family, as each family and their concerns are unique. Working together, OFC coaches and caregivers develop strategies that can help families get through the toughest times, and make plans for how to manage their family for the long haul.
Operation Family Caregiver is a program through the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI). RCI supports caregivers through advocacy, education, research and service. RCI is part of Georgia Southwestern State University. It was established in 1987 in honor of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a GSW alumna, who serves as president of the Institute’s Board of Directors, to enhance her longstanding commitments to family caregiving and mental health.
Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.
Military Connection: Operation Family Caregiver by Debbie Gregory