Tuesday, November 10, 2020: The Weight of Honor: The Story of Military Caregivers
We take the month of November to recognize the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. Of that group, 5.5 million are military and veteran caregivers; the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for America’s wounded, ill, or injured warriors. These hidden heroes provide invaluable service to the nation, but their unique journeys are not always well understood.
The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) began promoting national recognition of family caregivers in 1994. President Clinton signed the first NFC Month Presidential Proclamation in 1997, and every President since has followed suit by issuing an annual proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November. (See President Trump’s 2020 Proclamation).
For many, America’s wounded servicemembers’ story is a reminder of the perils of war and the uncertainty that exists for those individuals serving our country. What about the story of the resilient men and women who take on the role of nurse, caregiver, and medical advocate after wounded loved ones return home? We may assume that these caregivers are military spouses, who are often recognized for their endless sacrifices to support their partners throughout their service. In many cases, these spouses do become caregivers, which drastically shifts the dynamic of the relationship. However, in many cases, caregivers are actually the parents, siblings, or “battle buddies” of their loved veterans.
It’s entirely fitting that the release of DirectEmployers podcast, DE Talk: Season Two, Episode Three, gets real and raw with the interview of Stephanie Howard, the executive producer, director, and writer of the documentary film, “The Weight of Honor.” This one-of-a-kind documentary film sheds light on the underserved community of 1.1 million post-9/11 military caregivers.