Through his portraits of wounded soldiers, their loved ones and their caretakers, and through his portrayals of the dangerous conditions in which they serve and the trying world to which they return, David Wood has crafted an immensely valuable mosaic of a vital segment of American life.
Starting today, The Huffington Post begins a ten-part series, Beyond the Battlefield -- an exploration of the physical and emotional challenges, victories and setbacks that catastrophically wounded soldiers encounter after returning home.
Even though I sat at their same table, I just couldn't give up on them. Those kids needed someone, and I refused to allow myself to be discouraged. I refused to allow my advocacy to waiver. I refused to stop and lick my wounds. I tried my damnedest to give a voice to those voiceless children. I kept fighting, kept moving, and was never out of the fight -- just as the Army trained me.
I understand that as we draw down from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are beginning the process of putting those wars behind us. In our closure, however, we cannot close the door on our veterans -- as we have done so many times before.
This picture appeared in the newspaper where I worked on June 5, 1994, a day shy of the 50th anniversary of D-Day. I was stunned. The man on the far right was my father, and I recognized him immediately. I fell into a chair in a heap. He'd died seven years previously, and I missed him. And on that moment, I missed that he'd never told me the story of that day.
There is a deep and urgent need for Americans to understand that the current problems within certain VA facilities are not rampant and system-wide. And I would bet my life that the nurses and staff at the centers being investigated carry out their duties with the same compassion and caring that my father-in-law is receiving at this very moment.
Acceptance is not the same as compliance. It's about experiencing the emotions and trusting that you will bounce back. Ultimately, emotional resilience is about attitude. By focusing on the positive they live more in the solution than the problem. Gratitude does go a long way.
Earlier this year, the GOP had a chance to prove that it could fund veterans' health care as eagerly as it borrowed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"He does not exist!" the man insisted. I figured that the guy was a government worker and doing the best that he could. So, I drove to my parent's condominium and picked up the handsome photo that my mother kept near her bedside.
Hey, we're launching the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 to raise money for good causes.
So how can we as communities do more than just celebrate, and really help and embrace our veterans so the transition from military life to civilian life is not as painful?
WWP is committed to caring for these wounded warriors because we don't want them to simply survive -- we want to see them thrive. The goal should be to empower these veterans to live as independently as possible.
Imagine how Marines all over the country feel as they remember fighting for their lives and how they feel now, or try to imagine what it's like to come home and realize the memory of who you were is better than the reality of who you are.
These statistics don't tell the full story. For those recovering from a TBI, they face a long road toward recovery and rehabilitation. They have survived, but how will they relearn to thrive?
Because of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Caregiver Rule, Brett's employer kept his job open so Brett had the time to care for his brother. Now Brett's back at his job in Chicago, and Kyle is doing great. Like the brothers' situation illustrates, these support systems can have a significant impact on the day-to-day hardships caregivers face.