We must do more for the spouses of veterans

Dallas News (May 2016) | Elisa Borah

From Armed Forces Day to Memorial Day to Military Spouse Appreciation Day, May is a month that honors our veterans in many different ways. But we still have work to do in how we recognize and support their families.

Can we really address veterans’ needs separate from the challenges faced by the family as a whole? The answer is no, unless we change what we are doing. We can do more to provide spouses the support they need to continue essential caregiving for veterans and to rebuild their families’ emotional and economic health.

Spouses are vital to veterans’ successful transition into civilian life and in veterans’ recovery process when they require treatment. It is often a wife, husband or partner who actively encourages a veteran to seek treatment in order to save the marriage or to improve their children’s relationship with the parent. The spouse also becomes the family’s breadwinner when a veteran is unable to work.

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