I am a caregiver to my Army Veteran husband and have been since 2010. I did not find Caregivers on the Homefront until 2021. My mentality about being a caregiver changed for the better. I learned that it is imperative to care for myself as much as I do for my veteran. It is ok to have great days and horrid days. COH gave me the freedom to understand that I do not need to be perfect in my caregiving duties. My mental health and wellness matter and are just as important as my veterans. COH brought out unity during the weekend retreat, we realized that we were all walking the same road and that we need to be there for each other. Everyone's background and caregiving story are different, yet we all carry the title of caregiver. COH showed me that it is great to be proud of that title, all the while tending to my needs as well. Neglecting myself is more harmful than helpful during this phase of my journey as a caregiver.
Caregivers on the Homefront has been a great organization. They have provided a support system and have introduced me to other caregivers that I still connect with and talk to fairly regularly. We were able to create bonds with each other over our lives that many don't understand. The restorative weekends help us to regain our individual identity outside of caregiving, parenting, and our jobs or careers. They also provide other resources such as Trauma Reboot to help us through our Traumas that have happened through our lives. -Thank you, Marlee
Hi - I am Gabriela Headen and I have been a caregiver for my husband Tommy for 7 years. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of Caregivers ofnthe Homefront. I know through them I am not alone on this journey. My son Tommy was able to join Homefront Hangout and mentor a tween. He gained new friends and made many memories. I am grateful that he had this opportunity. My daughter Tamara and I have been enjoying the art therapy offered virtually. We love that through art we can destress and enjoy the company of other caregivers.
My name is Tara Plybon and I live in Taylor, Texas. I have been caring for my husband, Todd for 13 years now.
Caregivers on the Homefront’s Restorative Weekend has helped me deal with the numbing that happens during caregiver burnout and ambiguous grief.
I am so very grateful for having experienced that weekend as it helped me reconnect with a part of myself I had forgotten along the way.
Thank you to the donors and Board of Caregivers on the Homefront.
Caregiver's on the Homefront is not just for me but for my family as well. I get time away from my spouse, learn tools, and make new friends.
I use the tools that I learn here and share them with my community!
What COH means to me:
COH is especially important to me because of the support they offer, and the many effective ways they offered it to me. It was clear from the outset that there were expectations of me to learn. I wasn’t sure what we’d be taught, but I was in need. I knew I needed help in caring for my Veteran and was hopeful they had information I didn’t know…a magic wand perhaps? What I came to discover, with the help of Shawn and the Caregivers on the Homefront team, is that I am the magic and I don’t need a wand. My Veteran was the center of my focus, he’s the one who needed the care, it’s only right that he be the center of my attention. After my first day with COH I realized that I was lost. I was so lost in fact, that I couldn’t answer what I enjoy. My cohort helped me to realize that very answer I gave involved my Veteran. The program encouraged me and supported me to uncover who I was, apart from my role as a caregiver. Though I could tell you self-care was important, I didn’t practice it. Since my time in KC I’ve been able to let go of things that were holding me back, to continue my journey back to me. I am able to embrace my husband-Veteran and meet him where he is in his journey, care for him as he needs and enjoy our journey together.
My experience with COH was so uplifting and helpful when going through a rough time, they helped me through it, as well as helped me connect with other caregivers, who I have been able to continue to connect with long after their events. They truly are instrumental in my life.
I can honestly say that without COH I would not have found my identity. For the past 20 years I have been a caregiver, a wife, and a mom, but now I am Anna. I have realized how much I love health and fitness. I have learned that it isn't selfish to take a Barre class once or twice a week and it's okay to do something just for me.
I can never thank this organization enough for helping me find my identity because I truly believe it has made me a better caregiver to my husband as well.
Caring for your veteran can feel lonely. Caregivers feel like no one understands what they are going through.
Caregivers on the Homefront provides that community. It links caregivers to support and resources that sometimes due to isolation and exhaustion, can be lifesaving for the caregiver.
Caregivers on the Homefront provided me with that life raft at a time when I needed it the most.
I will always be a supporter of COH regardless of where life takes me.
I am the mother of 3 and wife and caregiver to a 100% disabled veteran.
The road of caregiving is rocky. There are good days and bad days and most of them are out of your control. Being able to care for those that have served our country is an honor. That same man is also my husband and father of my children who I have been with since we were 15 and 17. Each day is different and yet the same. The path you walk with them is rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
At a particular time in our journey I felt like I was losing myself and so alone. Finding Caregivers on the Homefront made all that change. Attending a retreat in Weatherford, Texas changed my life. I gained skills to help with self care and balance as well as ways to aid in everyday ways to assist my veteran. I made lifetime friends and other women that understand exactly what it’s like and are there no matter what is going on. The resources we were provided were lifesaving and the friendships made are priceless.
As a military caregiver with no connections to other caregivers in my home state, I connected with Caregivers on the Homefront in 2018. I have been fortunate to attend two restorative weekends through COH and have met brave, resilient women through my experiences. As a mom of three, I often find myself tending to the needs of others before myself. I am incredibly thankful for the donors and sponsors who support caregivers and COH. Without the generosity of all of you, these retreats would not be possible for a caregiver like myself to attend. Thank you for your love and support of caregivers and their families. - Thank you!!
Hello, I’m Michael (Mike) Bowles. I am a veteran, and a veteran caregiver to my wife Jennifer of over 20 years, whom I met while serving in the Army. My wife deals with PTSD, depression, anxiety, TBI, MST. We have 3 wonderful children. I’m also caregiver to my mother in law. When I’m not taking care of my family I love to volunteer. I’ve been President of my daughter’s PTO for 3 years, I’ve been bowling with Special Olympics where I was Vice President and League Secretary for a few years before becoming the Treasurer for more than 10 years now. I volunteer at my church and the school’s athletic sports combine every spring and fall. I grew up as a military brat, moving around every couple of years even going overseas. In my free time I’m learning to work with leather and I like to do craft projects in multiple mediums with my family. Also I am a jokester. I like to have fun.
One night, several years ago I realized I needed help. My husband's PTSD had taken over our lives. Through a rabbit hole I went in search of help. Thankfully, I found Caregivers on the Homefront. Through their Restorative Weekends I have gained tools, tips and tricks to manage my new life. I have learned that I am capable of more than I thought I was. While my husband learns to manage his PTSD, COH has empowered me to not only manage my day to day life, but to prepare for my future. I honestly don’t know what I would do without Shawn and the rest of her team.
What COH means to me: COH is there for me as a caregiver, understanding the roles I have as a caregiver, and continually helps provide the tools to give me the strength I need to care for myself, and for WW. COH understands the roles of caregivers through experience, provides a safe environment to be open about the challenges we face as caregivers, continually check in on you, and most importantly always available to assist or help with resources.