‘Hidden Heroes’ Care for Children Who Are Wounded Warriors

For most of us, Veterans Day brings parades and one-day sales. However, more than 5.5 million Americans spend every day honoring a veteran by providing hands-on emotional and physical care.

“Hidden heroes” is the name given those caregivers by a Rand Corporation study. While all veterans’ caregivers carry a burden, the study found that the 1.1 million assisting post-9/11 military shoulder a particularly difficult task because many of these young vets suffer from “invisible” combat wounds. Nearly two-thirds have mental health or substance use disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety, and one-fifth have traumatic brain injuries. That’s often in addition to debilitating physical injuries. While many of those caregivers are spouses or siblings, a significant number are parents.

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