/ˌvälənˈtir/ noun :A person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: such as
(a): one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest
(b): one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration
Involving volunteers adds great value to Caregivers on the Homefront and it supports us to achieve our mission and strategic objectives. We could not complete our mission without the help of our volunteers.
Peggy Benally has been around the military community her entire life. She was a Army brat who went through a war deployment with a parent deployed. Both parents were career Army soldiers. Peggy met her husband 5 1/2 months before they were married due to his deployment to Iraq in 2003. They recently celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary. Her caregiving began when her husband became medically retired from injuries sustained in Iraq in 2004 with various levels of need. She left her nursing career to be a full time caregiver/stay at home mom after a suicide attempt in 2012. She had been a nurse since 1997. Peggy has a Geri psych background in nursing. She is able to use those skills to help her navigate Daniel's mental and physical health struggles.
She excels at multi tasking. They have 3 amazing kids. Peggy loves to take pictures, cook, crafting, outdoors and traveling.
She is involved with veteran and caregiver advocacy in many ways. Peggy is a VA caregiver program Peer Mentor, COH volunteer and also volunteers with Semper Fi Fund to help facilitate get-togethers for SFF spouses in the KC and Kansas area. It’s really important to Peggy that her fellow veteran spouses or caregivers never feel alone in this life like she did for many years. She emphases how it is very important to have someone who walks a similar path and to build a tribe of support around you.
She stated she really enjoys volunteering with COH to give back to the organization who has been so instrumental in helping her in rediscovering her own identity in this journey. Peggy was one of our first participants of the mental health and wellness restorative weekend in 2018. "That weekend still impacts me years later. On a personal and caregiver level. I believe in what COH is doing to help reduce isolation in this community as well as empowering caregivers to rediscover themselves in the process."
Tonya Gallina is a wife and caregiver to her Army veteran and mother to 3 children, as well as grandma to one handsome little boy, Bentley!! In November, Tonya was a participant in our restorative weekend in Kansas City, since then she has been volunteering with COH! She has volunteered at the last RW, helped with fundraising and enjoys helping with the “back office” stuff.
“When I met the man of my dreams 7 yrs ago I had no idea that he had PTSD, among other things. I quickly learned how isolated and alone I felt!! That is when I decided to be a voice for all caregivers!”