Families play a key role in military culture and the need for that support does not end once their loved ones are no longer serving on active duty. Involvement and understanding are vital as their veteran transitions into civilian life. The following are statements from caregivers and families who have seen, first-hand, the impact of the FOCUS Program and how lessons learned are carried home.
Wife of FOCUS Marine (FOCUS June 2013)
“After getting out of the Marine Corps, my husband struggled with finding purpose. Over the course of five years our family went through many trials. Our marriage was almost destroyed. Finally the light went on when my husband was diagnosed with PTSD.
Through the USMC wounded warrior regiment, my husband found FOCUS in 2013. At first we did not know what to expect. We had learned not to rely on anything from the government and had a sense of disillusionment about the military. His core values and beliefs in the Marine Corps, to look out and take care of each other, was non-existent. So as I dropped him off, I had little expectations about FOCUS.
Well I am Happy to say that FOCUS changed everything.
My husband before FOCUS was searching and disillusioned. After FOCUS he came back with more purpose than I had ever seen in our 8 years of marriage. He became a Marine again. He had a renewed vision to not be disabled but to enable his other Marines to get help. His renewed purpose has changed our family. Our girls have all seen the change in Daddy, and have become so supportive in his goal to help other Marines. God, through FOCUS, has given my family purpose. My girls have their Father back, and I have my Marine back. My family will forever be grateful to the FOCUS Marines Foundation for the mission that is now before us. Thank you for making us all proud to be a part of the Marine Corps family.”
Norton & Linda
Parents of FOCUS Marine (FOCUS Sept 2013)
“We wanted to offer our sincere appreciation for allowing our son to attend the program your foundation provides.
Michael’s struggle with PTSD and TBI has been a very long and heartbreaking experience for him as well as his entire family.
The changes in Mike are amazing. He needed to feel a part of something important again, and to rebuild his confidence and broken spirit. We believe that Focus Marines Foundation has given Mike a new direction by providing informative classes, many networking opportunities and skills as well as a true sense of camaraderie and accomplishment.
Instead of turning silent and inward, he now desires to reach out and encourage other PTSD sufferers. You have our heartfelt gratitude now and always.”
Wife of FOCUS Marine (USA 82nd Airborne) (FOCUS Sept 2013)
St. Peters, MO
“Before he went to the (FOCUS) program he was angry, impatient, and spent no time with our kids at all. He would disassociate himself from our kids, me, and anyone we knew, even his own parents. He won’t admit it but I think he may have been a little depressed. He had no desire to go anywhere.”
“While he was at the program he began talking to me at night and telling me that he was sorry for everything he had done. He told me everything was going to change from here on out. Now mind you he had said all of these same things to me before. So of course I thought “…we will see.” Now I have no idea what they do at the FOCUS program. All I know is things really did change.”
“As weeks went by I noticed more changes. He had patience for our kids. He wouldn’t get frustrated and yell at them. They use to be so scared of him. Now, they will sit on the couch next to him all cuddled up and watch “Hockey” and “Feetball” as our boys say. They love spending time with daddy now.”
“…there was also our relationship that needed help. Like I said the FOCUS program worked wonders. I actually started to feel appreciated again from him. I felt reconnected with him. After FOCUS he made more of an effort to be connected to me. He would hold my hand or just cuddle with me a little bit.”
“Mike even started to care about himself again. He would make sure he would work out or do something to get himself out of the house. He told me a while back that while he was at FOCUS, he really got to reflect on his life and see that he didn’t care about himself anymore. He wanted to change that. He makes sure even now to do something every day to get out of the house. He still keeps in contact with some of the marines from the program and if he is having a bad day he has someone to talk to. Someone who has been there. Someone who understands. Let’s face it. Wives don’t understand. We can say we do and try to all we want, but we never will understand. We have not physically been in that situation ourselves. Having these marines from FOCUS is like a therapy of a different kind for him – Someone he trust and he can confide in. He needs that. They all need someone to talk to.”
“I just want to say THANK YOU for the FOCUS Program. Who knows where we would be today without it. FOCUS has been better for him than any other program he has tried so far. For the Program to only be a week long and make that much progress is amazing. I thank you so much for the Focus Program every day. It was a blessing for him to have learned about it and have the opportunity to go.”