Raleigh, NC, April 26, 2017
April is Month of the Military Child. Throughout Operation Family Caregiver, programs help provide support for military families. This month, we want to share a story from a child's perspective.
Meet Kaden. He makes up a very special part of our nation's population. From deployments to new schools, military children must face unique challenges. Kaden gives his account of what it's like living as the son of a Marine with a #TBI.
"Hello, my name is Kaden. I am 13 years old. My mom’s name is Candace and my dad’s name is Mike. My dad is a United States Marine even though he is not active duty anymore. We still have a long road of understanding and helping my dad. I am a child of a dad who has a traumatic brain injury (TBI). I have overcome many things learning about TBI.
For a very long time, I did not understand what was wrong with my dad. I did not know why he would be mad for no reason, why he never slept at night, why he always had headaches or why he would forget so much or why he would seem like he was not paying me any attention or why he could not concentrate or why he would just want to be in bed all day for no reason.
My mom and I fought to help and understand why my dad was so different. We did not know why or how to deal and handle any of the things that were happening to us all as a family. So, my mom reached out and found the [OFC] caregiver program. We are truly grateful for them and the Easterseals programs. They have taught me and my mom so much. We now go to counseling, and we sit and talk at the dinner table more than we did before. They have given my mom classes online in order to help her help us in our family. And she is still trying to learn more every day.
Mom says we take life one day at a time now. I know things have been tough for us, but by the grace of God and the great people (Ms. Sharon and Ms. Martie) He has put in our life, we will continue to grow into a better family. We have a better life now and a better understanding on how to handle the things that come our way. I know that the job my dad did changed him to someone else, but he is still my dad. And I love him. And I still want to be just like him. I want to be a United States Marine when I am older. If mom will let me. If not, I want to be in some branch that will allow me to be on water or on a boat because I love the water and I love boats."
Learn more about Operation Family Caregiver