The Military Officers Association of America recently hosted its annual Warrior-Family Symposium to gain some insight into what the priorities are among injured troops as they transition to their new lives. The discussion touched on a number of topics, but caregivers, reserve support and sports for the wounded came out as their biggest concerns, according to Armed Forces Press Service.
The panel was moderated by Retired Marine Corps Master Sgt. William Gibson, who has considerable experience living life as an injured soldier. Though he had his leg amputated above the knee after a 2005 injury he returned to a combat role three years after his amputation.
Also in attendance was retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Slaydon, who was there to talk about caregiving challenges. In particular, he discussed the stress his injuries placed on his wife, who was acting as a caregiver.
"There's no handbook that says when you should pull back as a caregiver and give them more independence," his wife Annette Slaydon said, according to the news source. "There is no instruction booklet about how to move forward on this."
The panel convened around the same time the Department of Defense announced it would be hosting a caregivers conference next year. There is a significant need as well, with approximately 49,000 troops receiving physical wounds in Iraq or Afghanistan, Military Times reports.