It is no secret that the men and women who are veterans or currently serving in the nation's military, along with their brothers and sisters who serve as first responders and frontline workers in our communities, are heroes. Medals, ribbons, and national support are indicative of the many sacrifices these heroes make every day. Unfortunately, there is little to no equivalent support structure for their family members. These are the veteran, military, and first responder family members and caregivers who make incredible sacrifices to care for our nation's service members, veterans and first responders.
Caregivers on the Homefront was created by Shawn Moore on June 14, 2017, and rebranded January 1, 2024 to Operation Frontline Families. Shawn serves as a caregiver for her husband, Bryan, a 23-year Army veteran, who after seven combat tours to Afghanistan came home with the invisible wounds of war. Shawn felt isolated and without resources when trying to help her husband and after speaking with a variety of individuals she realized her story was not unique, that there was a gap in the resources and support structure for our nation's caregivers. Operation Frontline Families fills that gap by providing evidence-based mental health and wellness programs. We also take pride in advocating for these family members at the local, state, and national levels.
Behind the Name Change
To be more inclusive to our mission and those we support the Board voted to change our name. Many family members do not identify as caregivers and we felt we were missing many who may benefit from our mental health and wellness programs. We also receive many calls from those looking for professional caregivers, which we do not provide. We are passionate about supporting and reaching the family members of service members, veterans, and all frontline workers. We hope you will come along our journey to holistically support the entire family unit. Together we can decrease homelessness, suicide, and divorce in our communities.
In 2014, The Elizabeth Dole Foundation commissioned the Rand Corporation to conduct the first comprehensive, evidence-based national study of military and veteran caregivers and their needs. The study revealed a societal crisis: an estimated 5.5 million Americans care for injured or ill service members and veterans. Military and veteran family members and caregivers provide $14 billion of uncompensated care each year which ultimately has led to a decline in their own mental health and wellbeing. These family members have been thrust into roles that they never imagined doing with little to no education on how to provide care to their loved ones.
According to the Rand study, "Military caregivers consistently experience worse health outcomes, greater strains in family relationships, and more workplace problems than non-caregivers, and post 9/11 military caregivers fare worst in these areas." The study goes on to say "We found that key aspects of caregiving contribute to depression, including time spent giving care and helping the care recipient cope with behavioral problems. Perhaps even greater concern, between 12% (of pre-9/11 military caregivers) and 33% (of post-9/11 military caregivers) lack health care coverage, suggesting that they face added barriers to getting help in mitigating the potentially negative effects of caregiving" (p. xviii). Without a healthy family, the veteran will continue to suffer. As a nation, we must make caring for these family members and caregivers a priority. Operation Frontline Families took the gaps that were found in the Rand study and developed our mental health and wellness programs.
We also know that our first responder and frontline family members experience their own challenges. For hours on end these family members stand by wondering if their loved one will make it home at the end of their shift. We must normalize seeking mental health support in our communities.
Our mission is to provide the family members and caregivers of our Nation's service members, veterans and frontline workers with hope, a sense of togetherness, and a firm foundation of resiliency. Operation Frontline Families proudly advocates to promote awareness and increase education for not only our family members and caregivers, but the communities they live in.
Our vision is to create a vibrant future of dignity and wellbeing for all service members, veterans, first responders and frontline families. Redefining our countries perceptions that surround both the physical and invisible wounds of the brave men and women that serve our country and communities.
Operation Frontline Families is a non-profit corporation and shall operate exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code. To maximize our impact on current efforts, we may seek to collaborate with other non-profit organizations which fall under the 501(c) (3) section of the Internal Revenue code and are operated exclusively for educational and charitable purposes.