You can’t talk about love without talking about loved ones – the people who make our world better, who hold us up when we can’t hold ourselves up, our calm in the middle of the storm. Until I became a military spouse, I never really understood what military loved ones went through while their servicemembers were off defending the nation. I never realized how much harder it is to be the dependent, the one who matters to the military only in relation to his or her spouse, who never has the full story and for whom the military’s decisions create incredible chaos while relegating them to the position of bystander.
It takes a certain strength to serve your country, to be willing to walk into the line of fire if it is asked of you, but it takes an entirely different kind of strength to love a person who is willing to do that. I would wager it is even more challenging to love them when they come home, not whole, the way you sent them out, but injured, ill, struggling, and dependent on that loved one to care for them in ways they never had to before. That’s why organizations like Hearts of Valor exist.
I briefly mentioned Hearts of Valor a couple of weeks ago when I discussed its parent organization, Operation Homefront. It is an organization dedicated to those who are often behind the scenes, providing care to wounded, injured, or ill post-9/11 servicemembers and veterans. Its goal is to provide these individuals with the coping skills required for their situation and with a community of individuals in similar situations who can offer advice or just a sympathetic ear. Whether its leading online forums or sending care packages to new members or providing annual retreats where these individuals can take a small amount of time for themselves to rest and rejuvenate, Hearts of Valor is helping them through the process of becoming better caregivers, both to themselves and to their wounded warriors.
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