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

Craig Remsburg

Collectively, military and veteran caregivers are all on the same journey. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

What do you wish people knew about military caregivers?

Military caregivers share the same motivation, dedication, and professionalism as service members demonstrate. I want other military caregivers to know that, although it may seem like it at times, they are not in this endeavor alone, and have peers, mentors, and professionals available to help them.

What is a negative experience you have had to overcome as a military caregiver – and how did you do this?

Initially, the thought of having to continue to reach out for assistance, both financially for our son, but also for clarification of available benefits. Learning both the military benefits programs and the government benefits programs is daunting. Finding similar caregivers of TBI wounded warriors was an avenue I found worked best for me. Sharing our stories, both good and bad, and then leveraging the information so others didn’t have to walk that same path during recovery.

What advice would you offer to other military and veteran caregivers?

Engage with other caregivers to learn! By engaging with other caregivers during both veterans related programs, and even non-veterans events, I listen to the plethora of stories and circumstances surrounding our neighbors and community, and share my life experience as a caregiver. I also share the availability of resources for caregivers, contact information, and applicability of programs that may assist others while in the caregiver capacity.

My Story

Craig and his family were thrust into a caregiving role when an improvised explosive device (IED) seriously injured their son Cory in 2009. His wife, Annie, handles the medical and therapy needs; their son, Christopher, who is also a combat soldier, is now Cory’s full-time caregiver; and Craig provides everything else. Together, as a family, they get the job done. Cory’s injuries include a penetrating traumatic brain injury (TBI), blindness in one eye, soft palate tissue damage, and paralysis of the left side of his body. They are in our ninth year of providing care for Cory.

As the second Dole Caregiver Fellow in the family, Craig pushes for continued awareness of military caregiving programs and resources. As an United States Air Force Reserve retiree, he understands and appreciates service members’ sacrifice, as well as the wounded service members’ caregivers. He is optimistic about his son’s recovery, and will work earnestly to help wounded service members and caregivers with their recovery efforts.