Anyone who has ever loved an animal knows how powerful and healing its presence can be.
Specially-trained therapy animals are a tremendous help to military families recovering from war and separation at our Operation Purple® camps and retreats. These families have sacrificed so much, and they struggle with uncertainty and other stress.
Therapy animals—including cuddly cats, loving dogs, gentle horses, and others—help military families break down barriers they can’t themselves. These nurturing animals provide a sense of calm for adults and kids often surrounded by stress. And they lend a feeling of “home.” They allow service members to reconnect, talk more openly about their fears and needs, and solidify fragile bonds with their spouses and children at our camps and retreats.
Please help more military families heal from the physical and emotional wounds of war through the comforting presence of therapy animals today. Donate now!
Has an animal or pet ever helped comfort you through a difficult time?
More than a million military caregivers serve our Nation every day by helping their Wounded Warriors do things many of us consider simple: eat, bathe, dress, and more. They are America’s hidden heroes.
Military and Veterans Caregivers Week is a time to turn the spotlight on these heroes. It is a week when Americans recognize and honor military caregivers’ sacrifices and successes.
In honor of this week, the National Military Family Association is asking caregivers for their best tips. Knowledge is a powerful guide, especially the knowledge gained from the real-life experiences of someone who has already walked the road to recovery.
Please take our survey and share your wisdom. What was most helpful to you as a caregiver? What advice do you want to share? What would you avoid? You’re the expert—your recommendations can empower other caregivers and their families!
This survey is open to all caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured service members or veterans and made possible by a grant from Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
By taking the survey, you will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card and other prizes!
We know you are busy. Thank you for your time and support helping us help our community. Take the survey now!
Posted by the National Military Family Association
When you are welcoming a new baby, caring for an ill family member, or struggling with an illness yourself, your job is probably the last thing on your mind. Family challenges sometimes require our undivided attention, even if that means taking some time off work. This reality was addressed twenty years ago, when the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law. Since 1993, the FMLA has helped thousands of American workers by allowing them to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for themselves and their families, secure in the knowledge that their jobs would be waiting for them when they came back.
In 2008, the FMLA was expanded to cover the families of service members. The new provisions allow family members of wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans to take unpaid leave to care for them. Families of service members deployed overseas are also eligible to take unpaid leave in some circumstances. The expansion of the law has benefited many military families. As one spouse of a wounded veteran says, “It has been really a huge relief to know my job is protected but I can use the days as needed for his care.”
However, not every military family affected by deployment, illness, or injury is able to take advantage of the FMLA. To be eligible, an individual must have been employed by his or her employer for at least 12 months. Smaller companies with fewer than 50 employees are not covered by the Act. And some families of seriously wounded service members find that recovery takes longer than the 26 weeks of unpaid leave allowed under the FMLA, which forces them to quit their jobs.
February 5 is the 20th anniversary of the passage of the FMLA — a chance to look back on how the law has helped families and where it has fallen short. The National Partnership for Women and Families is collecting stories from people who have used leave to care for a new or adopted child, a sick family member, their own serious health condition, or to address a family member’s military deployment. They also want to hear from people who haven’t been able to rely on the FMLA’s protections because they weren’t covered by the law or couldn’t afford to take leave without pay.
Do you have a story to share about the FMLA? Visit the National Partnership for Women and Families’ Story Collection Survey and tell them about your experiences – or leave a comment below.
Posted by Eileen Huck, Government Relations Deputy Director at the National Military Family Association