During the summer of 2016, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation worked with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass an important Resolution to encourage cities to increase resources for military and veteran caregivers.
To inspire participation, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation established the Hidden Heroes Cities and Counties Program, a growing network of cities and counties to better serve our caregivers and share best practices.
In 2019, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation partnered with the National Association of Counties, realizing that counties also serve a crucial role in providing information and resources to the veteran and military community.
I am thrilled to announce that Wyoming County, PA has passed a Resolution, committing to serving military caregivers: https://hiddenheroes.org/hidden-heroes-cities-and-counties
Learn More and Information:
Five and a half million Americans across our country care for a loved one who was wounded, injured or made ill during their military service. Earlier this year 2020, I was selected by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation – the premier organization advocating for these Hidden Heroes – to represent the military caregivers in our state.
This is an issue that affects me very personally. For 7 years, I have cared for my husband, SFC (Ret.) Jeff Swire, living in the Northeastern PA area. I became a caregiver for Jeff after injuries in Iraq lead to a failed neck surgery.
Being a caregiver has changed my life, as it has changed the lives of so many others. Military caregivers assist our loved ones with basic daily activities, such as cooking, managing finances, cleaning, and bathing, and we often manage their medications and overall medical care. Many of our loved ones suffer from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries, forcing us to be on guard for signs of depression, emotional breakdowns, and suicide. Military caregivers often sacrifice continued education, employment, and our own personal relationships, to dedicate ourselves to our loved one’s care. For me personally, the biggest challenges I have encountered as a part of my caregiving journey have centered on the loss of finances when Jeff medically retired, advocating to get him the care that he needs, and learning to navigate life and our relationship with PTSD.
Military caregivers voluntarily provide more than $14 billion in care every year. The toll that this takes is overwhelming. Caregivers struggle with depression, isolation, and physical ailments. We are more likely to face financial and legal challenges due to the cost and complexity of providing long-term care. Yet, we press on, because we love our veterans, and quite frankly, there is no one else who can provide Jeff the support he needs.
As a Dole Caregiver Fellow, I am eager to share my story with elected leaders, community groups, businesses, nonprofits, and faith communities who are interested in learning more and making a difference in the lives of our nation’s military caregivers and their families.
If you are a veteran caregiver or know one in need of earning an income from home, please visit my course The Servant-Hearted CEO Executive Assistant Certification® course and coaching program.
Please let me know if you are interested in learning more. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.