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
#DYK: @AFW2 Ambassador events bring a REALITY to RESILIENCY and allow our #warriors to share their stories with the… https://t.co/nLWPMlAs58
Twitter
@usairforce Ambassadors with the @AFW2 program spoke to members of 18th Air Force this morning about the importanc… https://t.co/XGTxbodFj6
Twitter
.@usairforce leaders, show your fellow #Wingmen they’re safe in your care. Through a supportive culture, encourage… https://t.co/G2Flq2astz
Twitter
The @AFW2 just returned from the first-ever Warrior Care Event at USAFE! #Warriors are ready to repeat that sucess… https://t.co/qr0b0OxfRl
Twitter
Today was #ResiliencyDay at the North Central Warrior Care Event! Warriors and their #caregivers had the opportunit… https://t.co/UHI0x1FxYb
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: Thank you @AFW2 for taking care of our airmen in their time of need! We are proud of retired Master Sgt. Boccher for all th…
Twitter
"So I put all of my trust and my faith into this program and I encourage you all to do the same!" 🙌🏻❤️ Master Sgt.… https://t.co/uexnG2pWjm
Twitter
The North Central Warrior Care Event officially kicked off last night! 🙌🏻 #Warriors and their caregivers met with t… https://t.co/4hZBk5g5Dt
Twitter
We asked #TeamScott for help and they sure delivered! 🙌🏻 Over 150 volunteers showed up at Scott Air Force Base toda… https://t.co/qjk2RFRIRK
Twitter
#DYK: The 375th AMW at @ScottAFB maintains responsibility for the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Training Squadron at… https://t.co/QkbX0hoGBF
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Staff Sgt. Samantha Woods entered the #AirForce in April 2013. A 2016 rocket attack in… https://t.co/WW75xZoIe1
Twitter
Today is National #PurpleHeart Day. Initially, enrollment in #AFW2 was focused on those service men and women who w… https://t.co/272ETISXaN
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday retired Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Carentz joined the #AirForce in 1994 as a cardiopulmonary… https://t.co/FfmkJBon5V
Twitter
@GenDaveGoldfein⁩ sent out guidance last week for all units to take a day to talk about #resiliency and combatting… https://t.co/ZKbDRMYdwT
Twitter
Learn more about resiliency here https://t.co/UGTj9h6PWf
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Senior Airman Jessica Thelen joined the #AirForce in 2016 working in intelligence. She is a… https://t.co/aWmWD9h75p
Twitter
Our #AFW2 Ambassadors are paving the way for a better understanding on how the program helps wounded, ill and injur… https://t.co/nKxYRRAzs0
Twitter
Great things happening ⁦@RamsteinAirBase⁩ with #AFW2. Follow the action on FB. https://t.co/OD5jeAHq88
Twitter
Retired Capt. Rob Hufford broke #powerlifting records at the 2019 Warrior Games and knows a little about the healin… https://t.co/12XxV06BzS
Twitter
5,149
Follow Us