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Voice Awards Blog Week: Supporting Military and Veteran Families and Caregiver (May 22)

Voice Awards Blog Week: Supporting Military and Veteran Families and Caregiver (May 22)

Welcome to the Voice Awards Blog Week!

On Monday, May 22, our theme focuses on Military and Veteran Families and Caregivers.

Today, we’re asking bloggers to tell their stories in response to this question: “In your experience, what are the best ways to support military and veteran families and caregivers who face mental health and addiction challenges?”

Check out Dole Caregiver Fellow Precious Goodson’s blog “Resources for Veterans with PTSD and/or TBI” In her blog, Precious discusses some of the most helpful programs at universities, hospitals, and other facilities around the country for veterans and their caregivers who are facing PTSD and/or TBI.

Precious also wrote about the wonderful Recreational Therapy resources available to veterans and their caregivers in her blog, “Recreational Therapy – How Does It Help?

Dole Caregiver Fellow Jeannette Davidson-Mayer wrote about simple changes to her life as a caregiver to a spouse with PTSD and TBI in her blog,

“Simplicity Can Come in the Form of a Trashcan”:

When simply thinking about the concept of “simplicity” as it pertains to my life — it causes me to giggle. Not too many years ago, simplicity and my name in the same sentence would have never gone together. In fact, my sister would have a few giggles with me over the complexity of my life!

Then a life-altering event changed not only my life, but also the lives of my family.

Living with a spouse who has a traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain due to spinal issues, we have learned to live with the ever-changing daily “new normal” with touches of strange humor.   

Here we are, 11 years post deployment, still learning the value of simplicity. We still work on what to simplify and when.  One of my favorite discoveries is the elevated trashcan.

Who would have thought raising the trashcan up and placing empty bags on the side would make our lives more simplified?

First off, we raised the trashcan up in support of my husband’s aim. In all honesty, none of us have claim to fame in the world of trashcan basketball, but there are some unique benefits to our newfound trashcan discovery.  

More trash makes it into the trashcan than on the floor, and with the added bonus of less trash slime sliding down the wall. The elevated trashcan also makes taking out the trash much easier for my husband. The elevation doesn’t require him to bend over, so he is able to take it out himself.  Now the only issue is having the trash taken out before it reaches maximum overload, a.k.a. exceeding weight limits, for hubby’s help taking the trash out.

Not only did elevating the trashcan give us some wonderful benefits – we went a step further and placed spare bags on the sides of the trashcan.  

Sounds simple, right? Exactly.

This simple step encourages speedier replacement of the trash bag into the empty trashcan. As mom’s everywhere can attest, there is nothing worse than going to throw away trash only to discover a bare naked trashcan.

Simplicity isn’t always easy to figure out when you live with an ever-changing daily new normal.  

Once you have mastered something that works one day, it may become a national disaster the next day.  The only things we can do are hope for the best, always keep trying, and never give up. For as my grandmother always said, “hope is an action word, now make it happen!”

We are a Military Family who is American Made!  

We Reach Higher, Dream Brighter, and Hold on Tighter.

Never forget that living simple can be as easy as an elevated trash can, but the results are more complex and rewarding than you could ever imagine.