Saturday, August 14, 2010

Operation Enduring Care & Caregivers
I received an email in regards to my blogging about this particular event going on for Wounded Warriors and their caregivers. Although I don't normally promote anything unless it has: a) is something/someone I have dealt with b) is related to my soldier and his issues or c) I know enough information to feel confident about passing it on, I felt this particular request was important enough for me to share. I am a huge fan of the USO and they did treat my husband like royalty when he got deployed. I remember him calling home from Maine in 2006, on a pre-paid cell phone the USO had given him when they landed. My husband told me that they had to stop and fuel up there before heading to Germany, and he was in line to get a full Maine lobster dinner. I was astounded at the way the USO volunteers set all this up for our guys and for the hour, they could eat and talk all they wanted. This act of kindness put my backwoods Tennessee man at ease on his first trip to Iraq and although jealous of my husband eating fresh Maine lobster, I knew my husband would be o.k. So in thanks, I am passing on this information because it also pertains to all of us who have Wounded Warriors and PTSD and because I appreciate what you did for my husband four years ago!

On September 23rd, 2010 Ft. Bliss (Texas) and the USO is putting together for the first time, a conference for family and Caregivers of Wounded Warriors. This conference will have different activities ranging from guest speakers and a variety of topics that include PTSD, intimacy (we all need to hear that one), suicide prevention, financial and parenting, as well as caregiver boundaries. They are continuing to add on to the list of guest speakers but each of them have the "been there and done that" perspective and expertise. Spouses, children, and family members of a Wounded Warrior are invited to attend with childcare being on site for your little ones! Lodging will be available on post through the Ft. Bliss Lodging Facilities if you are an active, guard and reserve members of the Armed Forces. Retirees and Dependents are also authorized to use these facilities.

There is a shuttle service being provided from the El Paso International Airport and courtesy transportation. The conference is also providing morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunch, and a BBQ supper that evening along with a concert open to Ft. Bliss and conference attendees. The deadline for registration was August 12th, but it looks like from the information online they will try to accommodate those who wish to attend this event after the deadline date. For more information on this event, you can go to the USO site and look at all that is offered for this day. The agenda is also posted for those who wish to peruse the activities before making their decision on going as well as the Registration for this event. For more information you can call the USO at this number if the site doesn't answer your questions or if you have troubles with the registration process, USO at (915) 217-5122.

Holding the position of caregiver, military spouse and a Family Readiness Group Leader for our unit here, I felt this conference would be something I would definitely love to go to and wanted to share with my readers and those organizations who are checking my site out such as the Army Reserve Command and ArmyOneSource. Looking over the agenda, there were several parts I would have been interested in hearing about such as compassion fatigue, PTSD, TBI and suicide prevention. I also like they have planned in this conference how to navigate resources that are available, and from my past blogs, you know how I feel about these "supposed" resources most of us can't find! I would like to see what they have! Perhaps when this is over, I can contact the USO and see what resources they have and check them out for all of us!

If you are able to attend this conference, please let me know how it goes! If I had the extra 388.00 for a round trip ticket, you'd better believe all you would see is my butt and elbows heading out the door! I am in such need of being around other people in my situation that it's somewhat depressing! Being this is the first one, I am hoping this will continue every year and in different locations. I find that being in Tennessee, I am limited to so many things as everything is always far away! If you aren't able to attend, shoot the USO an email and state where you are located. Perhaps with enough participation and interest, we can get such events a little closer to where we are!

Special Thanks again to the USO for being who you are, and for taking care of my husband during a most stressful time. I also send thanks for your invitation for me to write about this particular event and wish I was able to attend! I will raise my coffee cup to you all this morning for best wishes on your upcoming event and hope it will be a success!

A USO Fan,

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