HomeNewsArticle Display

Behind the scenes: Caregiver Support Program

The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program hosted the northwest region Warrior CARE Event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Aug. 27-31, 2018. More than 120 wounded, ill or injured service members from across the nation are participating in introductory restorative care events focusing on caregiver support, familiarization with adaptive sports and ambassador workshops, exposure to mentorship and resiliency programming, and targeted transition assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Shawn Sprayberry)

The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program hosted the northwest region Warrior CARE Event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Aug. 27-31, 2018. More than 120 wounded, ill or injured service members from across the nation are participating in introductory restorative care events focusing on caregiver support, familiarization with adaptive sports and ambassador workshops, exposure to mentorship and resiliency programming, and targeted transition assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Shawn Sprayberry)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Warrior CARE Event came to a close with the closing celebration held at Soldiers Field House, Aug. 30; however, caregivers and warriors came together for one final event, Aug. 31.

 

The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Caregiver Support Program works directly with the Recovery Care Team, Peer Support Coordinators, Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program, and Airman & Family Readiness Center staff to ensure support services are provided based on individual and family needs.

 

“This Caregiver Symposium was asked for by our warriors and their caregivers; it serves as a way for caregivers to come together with warriors and truly share in this journey of recovery and healing,” said Tanya McGough, AFW2 Caregiver Support Program manager. “Here, our caregivers are able to bond not just with their warriors, but with fellow caregivers and their warriors... creating a wider support network, and in a sense, family of support.”

 

The program also connects caregivers, establishes networks and provides coping tools that will help caregivers learn, grow, and develop in fulfilling ways. It is built on the idea of caregivers taking care of caregivers.

 

Over the course of the week, caregivers are armed with resiliency tools geared toward helping them cope with what their warriors are going through, as well as positive tools and resources for themselves to avoid burnout from the toll their role can take on them.

 

“I think our caregivers often forget to care for themselves in the process of providing critical care and support for their warriors,” McGough said. “Here, they are able to connect and bond with people walking similar journeys so when they leave, they have touch points - mentors, friends, and resources to lean on should the need arise.”

 

“The communication and sharing experiences here have been incredible; these caregivers now know they are not alone,” she continued. “Most will tell you this was their first time, attending one of our CARE events, but are leaving feeling whole.”

 

Caregivers also leave as program ambassadors and aid AFW2 with getting the word out about benefits of attending an event, while also encouraging people to attend who may need the program.

 

“These caregivers are our unsung heroes... I tell all of them that the mirror of my heart is the reflection that I see; my reflection shines within you and within me,” McGough said. “All of that to say, we see you. While things may be going wrong and you may not have an outlet, AFW2 sees you; what we do reflects on our caregivers and warriors.

 

“We are changing and saving lives here; regardless of what has happened, we hope to give our caregivers new experiences here and be by their side through struggle and hardship,” she continued. “The incredibly unselfish sacrifices made by caregivers for their warriors; the sleepless nights and feelings of isolation... we want them to know that through faith, love, compassion and understanding, you can and you will make it through.”

 

For more information about the AFW2 program, visit their official website. Additionally, be sure to like their Facebook page for program updates, upcoming events and the latest news.

 

Editor’s note: The next CARE event (following JBLM) will be held at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, this November.

Twitter
Coming up later today we'll look at what it takes to get the really good #photos of our #swimmers. Our roving #AFW2https://t.co/5zsixW7hSI
Twitter
Day 1 Training...It's #Hot and #Muggy out here at @MacDill_AFB for training at #track for #DoDWarriorGames2019. Fir… https://t.co/0Oq3fAOt9o
Twitter
RT @warriorgames: It’s the final countdown! The #WarriorGames starts Friday! Are you ready to see our #WoundedWarriors compete in #Adaptive
Twitter
Team #AirForce staff is on-the-ground in #Tampa getting things ready for #DoDWarriorGames2019. We're walking the ve… https://t.co/ojPxalUPzm
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Retired Staff Sgt. John Escalante. John developed #PTSD after responding to an aircraft cras… https://t.co/cdjdUA1FAh
Twitter
The #DoDWarriorGames2019 shout-outs are coming in from everywhere. A bagpiper at the Highland Games sends luck from… https://t.co/0SsRZ5jdgn
Twitter
Taking a #selfie with cmsafwright is the best way to spend a day. #AFW2 #WoundedWarrior Heath Trepanier (L) and RCC… https://t.co/zREcuer83S
Twitter
#DoDWarriorGames2019 Shout Out! Ms. Ellen Wong from the U.S. Consulate in Edinburgh, Scotland sends her regards to… https://t.co/JEH7XZJa2g
Twitter
Wes Cagle (R) shares his thoughts on the #CataranYomp. He said, "Thanks you to ALL the #AFW2 staff for giving all o… https://t.co/O6CGjKvm6W
Twitter
Jason Howell (L) and Wes Cagle (R) completed 22 miles in the #CataranYomp in the Scottish Highlands. The remaining… https://t.co/FYeZGvWjMn
Twitter
Apparently the #AFW2 #wpundedwarriors at the #CataranYomp are going to be well-fed. Would you eat #haggis? https://t.co/xonclAhuq5
Twitter
#CataranYomp #AFW2 #woundedwarriors have begun the march and are sharing photos from the event. Cheer them on...the… https://t.co/FHZZBcNxhd
Twitter
#WoundedWarriors representing #AFW2 are in Scotland for the Cataran Yomp, a grueling 50+ mile march through the Sco… https://t.co/QTHJWsfobS
Twitter
Competition draws near, are you ready to #BeInspired? @dodwarriorgames #TeamAirForce https://t.co/sH1HHKYJjq
Twitter
Today is #GlobalRunningDay! Our Air Force Warrior Games standing & wheelchair #track athletes will compete in… https://t.co/5UUoDzUuHj
Twitter
What did you do today? Well...Chief Master Sgt. Dean Unger and his fellow wounded warriors Maj. Michael Smith and T… https://t.co/9u7TyUFDeq
Twitter
#dday75 is underway in the United Kingdom right now. 3 #woundedwarriors make up the flyby going on. Shout out from… https://t.co/nC6NV4LyQE
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Tech Sgt. Roann Leatz served 15 years active duty and 4 years with the Pennsylvania Air Nati… https://t.co/bpGOLVi0Ih
Twitter
In just 17 days Staff Sgt Melinda Smith will be representing #TeamAirForce for the 2nd time at the 2019… https://t.co/5xNrAQeeYs
Twitter
According to the @DeptVetAffairs there are approximately 8M in the US diagnosed with #PTSD. June is National PTSD A… https://t.co/17wMpDmsS2
Twitter
5,044
Follow Us