5 Things Only Spouses of Wounded Warriors Truly Understand

While researching my book, Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife, I spoke with dozens of partners to combat-injured veterans about their challenges, triumphs, and tragedies. As you might imagine, their stories were incredibly moving and eye-opening. I am forever grateful to these brave women for their candor, for sharing the hard truths of their lives with all who would listen. And from them I learned that there are a few things that only spouses of wounded warriors can truly comprehend.

barbaramcnally • One year ago

4 Tools for the Spouses and Children of Wounded Warriors

As so many of the women I interviewed for Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife told me, living with a combat-injured veteran frequently means living in the shadow of post-traumatic stress (PTS). Vivid nightmares and terrifying mid-day flashbacks are the most well-known symptoms, but many wives also spoke of violent mood swings, quick tempers, jumpiness, and depression. Family members often feel confused and helpless, unsure how to best support their beloved wounded warrior. PTS aftershocks can be especially hard for the children of wounded veterans, since kids from toddlers to teens may feel unsafe and unsure around their suffering parent, never knowing what reaction to expect. With that in mind, here are a few tools that the spouses and children of wounded warriors can utilize as they adjust to life with a PTS-sufferer:

barbaramcnally • One year ago

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Women in the Military

Remember back in 2013 when former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women in frontline combat positions? It made major headlines and seemed like a huge breakthrough, right? But what we forgot back then—and tend to forget ongoing—is that women have ALWAYS played a major role in wars, combat, and military service. Ancient warrior women from cultures the world over fought alongside men. Celtic warriors like Boudicca and Grace O’Malley, along with more well-known historic figures including Helen of Troy, Joan of Arc, Lysistrata, and Cleopatra were all instrumental in planning and executing wars on behalf of their home nations. Here in America, however, women were relegated to non-combat roles from the Revolutionary War right up until 2013. So it makes sense that we'd be surprised when they were finally welcomed back to the front lines. And since women warriors are still overlooked much of the time, here are some fascinating facts about how women have contributed to—and been affected by—military service over the decades:

barbaramcnally • One year ago