Military Families with Secondary Trauma

When Families Share a Soldier's Stress: Helpful Information and Practical Skills for Military Families with Secondary Trauma

As Military Caregivers, we know that you can relate to the issues that Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) raises for service members and Veterans. When service members return home with PTS, they unknowingly share their pain with their closest family members. This "secondary trauma" or "vicarious trauma" can create a host of emotional, social, behavioral, and physical problems for families of service members. Without addressing the secondary repercussions of PTS, the happiness and life satisfaction of Caregivers can be reduced over time.

Please join guest expert, Jane Meier Hamilton, RN, MSN, as she helps educate Military Caregivers on how to break the cycle of secondary stress. Ms. Meier will outline important facts about secondary trauma in military families and will describe skills and helpful resources to help you effectively cope as a Caregiver.

Speaker Bio:


Presenter Jane Meier Hamilton, RN, MSN, a nurse for 40 years and family caregiver for 20, is CEO and founder of Partners on the Path, which provides caregiver support programs to businesses and non-profits, healthcare and faith-based organizations.

Jane is a trainer for the Easterseals National Veteran Caregiver Training Program, and has facilitated National Veteran Caregiver Training sessions since the program’s inception in 2011.

In 2014, she presented the first in our bimonthly, Military Caregiver Webinar series, a very well received session, From Daunting to Doable: The Power of Caregiver Resilience.

Dole Fellow Bio:


Nikki had never heard of TBI when her husband, John, was diagnosed in 2009. After service in Iraq, John was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2006 with a PTSD diagnosis. His symptoms worsened over the ensuing years and in 2009 he was diagnosed with TBI, the result of mortar blasts he was exposed to five years prior. It was the first of many hospitalizations for TBI and numerous co-occurring conditions, including a 16-month struggle to correctly diagnose John with Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Nikki realized that John now needed her in ways she never imagined and in the past six years has become her husband’s champion, caregiver and advocate while taking care of their five children. She has learned the importance of fellowship with other military caregivers and works on her school district’s Military Support Committee with a passion to make sure no wounded, ill or injured veterans or their families fall through the cracks.

Additional Resources

Slides for the above webinar: Military Families with Secondary Traum (*PDF)

Transcript for the above webinar: Military Families with Secondary Traum (*PDF)

Resources for the above webinar:  Military Families with Secondary Traum (*PDF)

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