Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Hidden Heroes
Caregiver Journey Map Campaign for Inclusive Care

Christie Girard

What does being a military caregiver mean to you?

Being a military caregiver is tough, but because it is so tough, it is so rewarding on the good days.

How do you rely on your local community for support?

I am so lucky that I can call my parents at any time and that my sister lives two doors down. Other neighbors help in different ways, coming over to help move my husband when I can’t pick him up and supporting us when my daughter experience a seizure. It is so meaningful just knowing that people are thinking about us and praying for us.

What advice do you wish you would have had when you became a military caregiver?

Don’t give up on the wounded warrior and love him or her as the person she or he is today. There is light at the end of the tunnel and never stop looking for answers.

My Story

Christie cares for her husband, Shannon. He suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a traumatic brain injury (TBI), partial deafness, irritable bowel syndrome, and back problems. When their daughter was born with a birth defect, he blamed himself.

As a Dole Fellow, Christie's goal is to ensure that every caregiver is treated as more than just a caregiver. They have so many roles and she searches for resources to allow caregivers to have more “me time.”