Lt. Colonel Margaret Andrews Fournier, RN, BSN, MSN, MHA
Every person is affected when a loved one dedicates their life to serve our country. Being married to the military makes you an instant member of a very special club. There are no dues, yet you pay nevertheless. You move, you unpack, and you reassure children that they will find a new best friend. You search for yet another barber and beauty shop to get your hair done. Whether you are rendering care to our nation’s wounded warriors or a family member, caregivers are there hidden behind the scenes caring for those who can no longer care for themselves.
Today, families are being asked if there will be someone that will still care for them when they return home. To date, more than 30,000 soldiers that have been wounded in action in support of the war on terror. Thanks to improved body armor and improvement in combat medicine, more service members survive their injuries and go on to live productive lives. This success has challenged the health care delivery system and families to step up to the plate. This staggering number of wounded warriors must be cared for when they are discharged from military medical treatment facilities.
Sometimes we take it for granted that we walk amongst greatness. In our communities we have those who serve in quiet, heroic ways while others are called to make a more visible impact. You may be hidden in the shadows, but it doesn’t diminish the effect of your contribution. You experience your own kind of challenges every week. You rise to the task even though you do not wear the rank. You haven’t taken the oath of office and you often stand alone. You stand at attention with pride, strength and valor above and beyond the call of duty. You are a caregiver, a hero at home. America salutes you! I salute you!
What follows is a short appeal from service member Geraldo Fournier
The Life of a Soldier
SFC Geraldo Fournier
The life of a soldier is hard and misunderstood sometimes. People ask, what makes a soldier brave and face danger? What makes them suffer the pain of death? I have seen death up close. I have watched a brave man die in front of me while serving in Iraq. I believe death is unpredictable and certain for us all, but I am not talking about an everyday death that will take us all, but the death of a soldier who is willing to die to make others free, and help them live a life of peace. Upon his return home, all he asks is a simple request of his country and his family and that is to be respected and loved. And if his life is lost in battle, all he asks of them both is to never be forgotten and to be buried with dignity and respect.