I have an idea...


Something like this may already exist in one or more places in our military community, but I have yet to hear about it.  So just in case, I'm throwing an idea out there that I think could really help families of wounded troops. I'm kinda piggy-backing off Andi's post regarding changes to our military (as a whole) that we mil-spouses think would be beneficial.

Here goes... (this is a bit longer than I intended, but I encourage you to read to the end)

When I was a Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader while my husband was deployed, our battalion set up Family Care Teams (FCT) to support the families of soldiers who were killed while deployed.  The FCTs were not just FRG leaders - it was ANYone in the battalion who wanted to volunteer as part of a team.  There were 4 people per team and each team was on a rotation.  In case of a KIA, the FCT on call would be there to help the family of the killed soldier.  The FCT would not go to the house until proper notification had been given and ONLY if the family wanted the FCT's support.  It was a great idea and we prepared the best we could.  I have to say that our battalion was truly blessed - we only had one KIA from our battalion.

When my husband was wounded he was the first one (from our battalion) who had to go to Walter Reed.  We had a few others wounded before him, but those soldiers returned to our duty station for medical care. 

We had A LOT of support from our battalion, friends, and family.  It was quite overwhelming, actually, but I will never forget the love and support we were given.  After returning from WR (the FIRST time), another soldier in our battalion was wounded.  I was not in the same company FRG as his wife, but I called her as soon as I heard.  I started getting calls from her FRG asking me how they could help her.  I gave my input.  I had a nagging feeling to go and see her "just because."  She lived about 20 minutes away from post, so I made her some dinner and DH and I drove to her house.  She had a 2-year-old and a newborn at home.  We showed up without warning.  She was quite surprised and kept saying, "Don't tell anyone you saw me like this!  I don't have any make-up on!"  DH and I didn't care what she looked like or anything else... we cared about HER and her family. We sat and talked with her and played with her kids for over an hour.  Then we left and I told her to call me ANY TIME.

A short while later, I was told by a few other battalion spouses that the spouse we went to visit was so grateful for me and DH taking the time to go see her.  I also found out that we were the ONLY ones from the battalion who went to see her (aside from the Rear D Commander).  Uh.... WHAT?!?!?!?!  I was mad when I heard this.  I couldn't believe that NO ONE else from our battalion had gone to see her. 

So here's where this is going (my "idea").  Much like the FCTs we had set up for families of KIAs... we needed FCTs for families of our wounded.  How hard would that be?  Not hard at all.  And the most crucial time when help is needed is when the family returns from the hospital (whether it's a local hospital or WR or BAMC, etc.).

So I ask you, if you are in a position to offer this idea for your unit, PLEASE do so.  Especially if a deployment is on the horizon or your unit is currently deployed.  I wonder how many other families of wounded have to "go it alone."  It's not fair and it should NOT happen.

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