Jill Trammell is new in my life. . .though I already trust her intuition and I really genuinely like her. In the short time I have known her, our conversations consist mainly of our future endeavors and the things going on in ‘the caregiver’ community. She has encouraged me to use this, her little spot in this world to share the things going on in my daily life as the spouse of Boone Cutler (Warfighter, Veteran Rights’ Leader, author, Fox News Radio host of ‘Tipping Point with Boone Cutler), mother to our children in a newly blended family. . .and whose life has been claimed by the caregiver world.
Love brought me here. . .to this current place in my life. I met the most incredible human being I have ever known and in no time I fell in love with him. Being raised by WW2 grandparents (he fought in the Pacific Theater and she made hand grenades) instilled not only feverish Patriotism, but also the need to educate my children about the current war. My desire to ensure that my children were aware that the wars our country is fighting are not wars belonging only to the young men and women in photos or they see on television & news papers, but to understand that these wars belong to us as a country. . .to us as individuals. Our country, I wanted my children to not only love and be proud of her. . . but to have the desire to protect what our forefathers gifted us . . .the most amazing & powerful country in the world. So as a single mother working a full-time job & raising my children, I took on volunteering as a lesson to lead by example to teach these things to my children and to give them the opportunity to serve their country through my position with the USO. This was a turning point in my life, in all our lives.
Volunteering for the USO came after I got involved with my son’s middle school project of sending boxes to our local deployed warriors. When the project ended, our family sent their own boxes. We would all go together to Target with a list I printed off-line specific to ‘troop packages’, filling our cart with baby wipes and lip balm among other things. It worked; it gave a sense of understanding and ‘ownership’ over the war. My son ended up for a time with a pen pal in Iraq. It helped him to understand things no one could just explain to him…or that photos could depict. My position with the USO started out with airport duty. . .and over time I was given the responsibility of Soldier Readiness weekends for my area of the world. During my time volunteering other opportunities popped up as I met people who were involved in the Warfighter community. Patriot Guard Riders etc. . .events and so many wonderful people passionate about ‘their own’. I was inspired and it seems having been born on a base and raised by a military family. . .I really found myself at home. Ultimately, this little path off the normal path of my life brought me to cross paths with my husband. I will always be grateful to the USO, for the USO was the path straight into the arms of the love of my life. Who knew?
Falling in love & marrying an Army Paratrooper/PsyOp’er is an adventure in itself (All the way !!!) . . .but add blending families, marrying a 100% VA rated vet, moving cross-country and no longer living the career path I lived my whole life really shook up my world. Everything, and I mean everything I considered core in my world changed completely, less the little faces that call me Mom. I am not complaining. My world is quite amazing. An amazing man, amazing children. . .in a part of the country people flock to because it is a paradise. How could I complain? No this is not complaining. I am simply telling my story in hopes of connecting others who have been claimed by ‘the caregiver’ lifestyle and hoping to share something important in my world, and to bring recognition to it. My goal: to put a face on the words, the title ‘the caregiver’. As you meet us along the way in life. . .there is one thing you must know. We are all people who have given up the things that have defined us in life for something we love. We are a work in progress. . .we are struggling to not only redefine ourselves (sometimes mid or late life) but we are also looking for ways to justify to others why we are doing it. This is not a lifestyle just anyone can dedicate themselves to. . .we are all warriors in our own way. Our sons/daughters/husbands/wives/brothers/sisters loved their country so much that they gave their quality of life, a piece of their soul away to be a guardian to their nation. We in turn give up a life long identity because love, loyalty & respect of someone we love outweighs our image, who we have create ourselves to be. We honor our loved one by dedicating our life to them for the love they had of country.
This is just the beginning of my story, a story with a lot of characteristics similar to all caregiver stories. I have a lot more to share but it will have to wait. I am home alone tonight with our children & dogs. My husband is traveling to Indianapolis for Super Bowl 46. He is meeting up with an incredible young man named Cory Smith who under the .org my husband works with (GallantFew) is running nearly 550 miles from Ft.Benning to his home in Indiana to help spread awareness of the difficulties of our Warfighters re-integrating back into the civilian world. I am fulltime keeper of the children, dogs & house for the next few days, so I have to take care of my priorities and get some sleep. Today’s trip came out of the blue this morning when Karl Monger/founder of GallantFew called us and Boone was on a plane 6 hours later. Wish Cory luck if you watch the Super Bowl this weekend. . .and keep your eye out for a really cute blonde with blue eyes and a reddish goatee! That would be my honey. The one worth changing my entire life for.