Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wounded Warrior Updated

Do you know a veteran? Do you know a wounded warrior? I have known several veterans in my life time and would like to talk to you about a few of them. First I want to tell you about my husband. He is a true hero in my eyes. I often refer to him as my hero. My husband has deployed to Bosnia, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iraq and for the life of me one other time and I cannot remember where. That is almost sad. I do not understand how this wonderful man has stayed strong for so long. He has seen things that I can never imagine. I’ve watched him suffer with PTSD in ways that broke my heart. I have seen him leave babies before they can walk and return to babies who did not know who he was. I have seen him work late into the night just to make sure we have everything we need while he gone. I could not ask for a better father for our children. I see pride in his eyes when he looks at the flag. It is not a job he does only for the pay but because he wants to protect our country and keep us free. I love this man so much. Last fall a friend from high school became a wounded warrior. It hit home, although we have not talked in probably 20 years. He was injured in Afghanistan. I have watched him and his wife for months and watched how they have grown. I have watched him continue to honor his country. Honor his country when I am sure the mental and physical pain is more than any of us could imagine. Thank you, Robert for serving our country. Thank you, Angela for supporting him through this. You show me what a military spouse should be. A couple of weeks ago I got a message from a dear friend. Her step son Josh had been involved in a accident in Afghanistan and lost both of his legs. This young man has not been in the Army or married a couple of years. He is so young and yet he served his country and gave his legs for his country. I have watched him continue to do so with dignity. I ask you to continue to support our military men and women. So many times they can feel left behind. I have found a great organization that is willing to help with supporting them. This summer marks the start of Sears' annual spring renovation campaign with Rebuilding Together in support of Wounded Warriors across the country. To date, Sears has raised more than $16 million and has helped over 62,000 military families receive the home modifications necessary for healthful and comfortable living through its Heroes at Home initiative. There are currently 150 rebuilds underway across the country already this spring and summer, and together we can reach more military families. Sears is encouraging Americans to give back by donating to the work of Heroes at Home either in-store at locations nationwide or online. They also have some great suggestions on how to help our veterans. Do you carry a deep appreciation for soldiers of past and present wars, but aren’t quite sure how to show it? There are a number of ways, big and small, to express your support that can directly affect the life of a veteran in a positive way. According to a recent survey conducted by Sears, nearly half of Americans surveyed said they plan to volunteer, donate to a military related cause, or thank a veteran this Patriot Season (Armed Forces Day through Labor Day). Here are a few quick tips on how to show your gratitude for a veteran this Patriot Season and throughout the year: * Donate money to charities that help veterans. A great way to give back is to support organizations such as Heroes at Home and Rebuilding Together as they build, repair, improve or modify homes for veterans. Your donation can help extend the impact of the work these organizations do that affects thousands of lives. * Volunteer with organizations that help veterans. Get your hands dirty and your family involved. Many organizations can benefit just as greatly from your time as they can from your money. The Sears Heroes at Home initiative is just one of many that support veterans and rely on the help of volunteers. Check with local volunteer organizations to find a veteran-focused charity that is of interest to you. Your local American Legion or VFW post is a good place to start if you need help finding a charity. * Send a care package to a soldier serving overseas. A simple way to bring a smile to the face of a serviceman or woman is to send a package of fun items: candies, cookies, books, games, magazines – any taste of home. There are a number of organizations that coordinate the sending of care packages to soldiers stationed across the world. Operation Gratitude is one of many organizations that coordinate these efforts, and your local veterans organizations may be able to help put you touch with groups that support soldiers from your community. * Shop at stores that make efforts to employ or otherwise help veterans. In the same survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans (78 percent) also said they were more likely to support a company or brand that supports veterans or wounded warriors. Today’s veterans face numerous challenges when reintegrating into civilian life – one of which is finding steady employment. You can help ease this transition by supporting businesses that are committed to hiring veterans and supporting reservists on staff who get called into active duty. For example, Sears provides recruitment programs to help place veterans in jobs within their organization and will hold positions for deployed veterans for up to five years. There are also a number of nonprofit organizations that help provide job skills and career counseling for veterans, which could also use your support I encourage you to take a moment to read and see what you can do to help. If you already help a veteran I would love to know about it. I would love to hear the stories of the veterans in your life in my comment section. If you would like to donate please head over to Heroes at Home and make a donation. Pamela


Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson said...

Pamela, I loved reading this article about your husband and the other veterans. Thank him for me for his service to our country. I too look up to these men and women and wish they were paid much better. I have a brother, 87, who served in WW II. He was in the Army and was a  Medic. My other 2 brothers served, the middle one a career soldier.  My husband served in the WWII also. I had  several  brother-in-laws who served, and lots of nephews and even a niece, in different branches. And, cousins!  Also, my niece was    a career army. Lots of cousins and friends. Luckily my brothers came home ok. But lost some friends, and a cousin.Houston, here in TX. has a group who furnishes a new home to some servicemen. Don't knot how they decide. I think maybe those who are injured. I best get in bed since it is already nearly 3 am. Will not want to get out of bed.   God bless your family,   Maxie

Kena Simmons said...

I'm so glad you wrote this.  My husband also suffers from PTSD, but he's still in the denial stage and thinks he's perfectly fine.

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