“Recognize that making an impact doesn’t have to be front-page news. Simply being a good and kind person will make a positive impact.”
While serving our country through the military is tremendously rewarding, military service can have a profound impact on the individual and the family. Service members experience more depression, anxiety, stress, health issues and strains on family relationships than nonmilitary families. Serving all 50 states, Hope for the Warriors provides mental wellness services, resiliency training, a suite of well-being programs and, most of all, hope to more than 35,000 members of the U.S. military community. Hope is one of only a few veteran-focused organizations founded and led by a woman, and two-thirds of our staff are either veterans or spouses of service members.
The problem I’m trying to solve
In 2003 my Marine husband deployed to Iraq for the first of many times. As a military wife, I was responsible for connecting with our unit’s families and ensuring they were well and thriving. It was a full-time job managing my family and house, plus the constant fear of injury or death of our loved ones. I witnessed firsthand the impact that repeat deployments had on my family, neighbors and friends, as well as on those who returned physically and psychologically wounded. In 2004 our best friend was severely wounded and sent back to the U.S. to begin a long journey of recovery. Frequent separations, injuries and fear put a lot of pressure on military families, and access to resources and help was limited at that time.