Caregiving Families Need Your Support

Where are you located?
McMinnville, TN

Where did your veteran receive the majority of their medical treatment?
Walter Reed

Which branch of service is your family affiliated with?

Please share how you came to be a caregiver.
My husband stepped on a 40lb IED on January 22, 2011 in Afghanistan. He instantly lost both legs and his elbow.

How has caregiving impacted your day to day routine and your personal life?
I always joke that I traded the baby stroller and diaper bag in for a wheelchair and medical bag. We hoped to have another child after his tour, but that didn’t work out for us. I get up at 5am each day so I can have a solid hour of quiet before having to be on my toes all day. My husbands needs a lot of assistance mainly due to his fused right arm. Between caring for him, our daughters and working two jobs, I don’t have a lot of quiet time. However, I do believe the bomb changed our lives for the better. While our daily lives are crazy-stressful, we have learned how precious life is and we have learned that a great sense of humor will carry you very far.

Besides caring for your veteran, what other interests/jobs/passions do you pursue now? What are your personal interests?
I began preparing tax returns in 2001. I have operated my own tax preparation and financial counseling company since 2008. I have passed the IRS-RTRP Exam and the AFC exam just shortly after my husband was injured. I love showing others how to make their money work for them. I am also the Director of the Family Caregiver Program for the Yellow Ribbon Fund. That job enables me to pay so much of what we have learned to others. In my free time, I love to read and I read everything. Happiness to me is a cup of tea, a comfy chair, a warm blanket and a good book to get lost in.

How has QoLF helped you to renew your passion in your interests or to change something to improve your quality of life?
I have always wanted my own office for my tax practice. I have worked out of my home for way too long. We just moved to our new home just over a month ago. Once I finish getting us settled in, I am going to look for that new office and use my QoLF grant to buy furniture for it. I am beyond excited about the new office and a new desk. My case manager, Andrea, is more like a big sister. Her advice and counsel on all matters VA has been amazing. I am so thankful that she has come into our lives. She has reminded me to find that book and find that time for me more than once and I truly do need the reminder.

Do you have a favorite inspirational or motivational quote?
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible.”-Audrey Hepburn
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” -Walt Disney

What advice would you give a new caregiver?
If you cannot actually put your hands on it to fix it, or if your words cannot make it better, then let it go. I may not be your problem to solve. Walk away and let it work out. Don’t waste your energy chasing your tail, you’ll need that energy for something else later.

What would you like to tell the average American?
Please wake up and notice that our families need your support. Sometimes we just need a smile or perhaps just someone to talk about the weather to on occasion. Learn more about the national treasures that live and breathe in your town. They have already given so much for us all and they still have so much more to give.