I don’t feel as though it’s my duty, but my privilege.
At what moment did you realize you were a military caregiver?
I realized I was a caregiver when I arrived at Fort Belvoir and my husband was in the WTU (Warrior Transition Unit). Someone referred to me as a caregiver and I wondered what that was. I looked into it and realized wow, yeah, “That’s what I do and am.”
What does being a military caregiver mean to you?
Being a military caregiver means I feel as though I want to do anything and everything I can to support my soldier after he did everything he could to protect the freedom of the citizens of America. I don’t feel as though it’s my duty, but my privilege.
Can you describe a milestone or a moment that made you feel empowered or inspired as a caregiver?
The first time I went to Capitol Hill to lobby for veteran and caregiver issues was the first time in my life that I felt like I had the power to make a difference in my community. From there, I was able to make connections with my local Senators and Congressmen and have continued to lobby for these issues. It’s empowering to have my voice heard and make a difference!
Betsy is a caregiver for her husband, David, who medically retired in 2016 after 12 years of honorable service as a US Army Infantryman, due to combat related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and chronic depression. They have two children. Being a caregiver to her wounded service member has been the most challenging thing she has ever endured. Supporting her husband during three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan was easy compared to supporting him as a wounded warrior. No matter how difficult, Betsy takes her role as caregiver very seriously and is committed to standing by her husband during his road to recovery.
Over the last 10 years, Betsy has been an active volunteer in her military community. She was awarded the Department of the Army Commanders Award for Civilian Service and a Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service for her time spent volunteering with the Family Readiness Group. Betsy has a passion for helping others and hopes to continue this work as a Dole Caregiver Fellow for the Washington, D.C. area.
Betsy is not only a volunteer, military spouse, caregiver, and mother, but also a small-business owner. She is the CEO of the world-renowned baking and lifestyle blog, The JavaCupcake Blog where she shares her love of baking, crafting, and parties. Recently, Betsy launched her own business, Be Creative Consulting, LLC, helping non-profit organizations navigate through social media and online marketing. Betsy previously worked at the Yellow Ribbon Fund as the Caregiver Program Coordinator for Northern Virginia, and now serves as Veteran Programs Manager at Operation Gratitude.