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  • Writer's pictureAnna Morgan

Embracing A Life Altered: A Military Spouse's Journey Through Combat Injuries and PTSD

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Each of our lives are, more often than not, unpredictable and chalked full of unexpected changes that can alter everything instantly. My life, for instance, took quite a significant turn when my husband of just a few brief months at the time, returned home from war with combat injuries that resulted in amputations, brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In this blog, I present my voyage navigating life amid the adjustments, offering insight and support to fellow military spouses and other families who face similar unexpected circumstances. Our tale began where I was born and raised in Colorado. Then our paths later crossed as teens, when a California-born and Florida-raised fellow Jed, shared a passion for humanitarian work and our nation's armed forces. He and I developed a profound love and dedication to one another throughout that time. During the winter of two thousand eleven, we committed the rest of our lives to each other for now unto eternity. Over twelve years and three children later, we continue to cherish that bond amid all of the joys and uncertainties alongside each other.

However, following Jed’s return home post-deployment overseas, we were faced with both physical and emotional trauma. As we managed the PTSD and combat injuries, I witnessed firsthand not only his physical adaptation but also the changes to his typical calm and quiet demeanor. I found myself grappling with the challenge of embracing all of the profound adjustments, whilst also simultaneously taking on every responsibility to provide Jed with full-time assistance as his newfound caregiver.

With a firm resolve, I sought resources to help as we coped, managed and accepted all of the obstacles ahead. I delved into a greater understanding of both the seen and unseen injuries, realizing the knowledge would be a beneficial tool in our recovery process.

Listed below are several strategies I came across that I believe to be indispensable.

Eliciting the Support of Professionals:

I've learned the importance of seeking professional aid. Whether that is via counseling, therapy, mentorship or support groups, these systems of assistance have been invaluable in understanding and coping with Jed’s conditions post injuries.

Dependence on God:

In times of uncertainty and despair, turning back to my faith in Christ has been a steadfast anchor for the soul. Trusting in His goodness and plans despite all circumstances, and finding peace in the Holy Spirit’s guidance has provided inexplicable hope and tranquility throughout the course of our marriage and Jed’s recovery.

Diagnosis Education:

Expert-level comprehension will take you far. Any ignorance concerning Jed’s diagnosis and the effects of the combat injuries were eliminated after further understanding and research. Which has better equipped me as a care provider to recognize and support my spouse’s needs, on his path to total rehabilitation.

Avoiding a Mentality of Victimization:

We’re each very susceptible of falling into a mentality of victimhood when faced with devastating hardships. We have a choice though, to rise above a perspective of paralysis from our situation to one of adaptability, growth and optimism in all opportunities instead. I am better equipped to support and encourage when I move from a mindset of resilience and faith, than when I dwell on all of our loss and suffering.

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries:

To conclude, balancing attending to my injured partner while still addressing my own individual needs, is necessary though strenuous at times. Setting suitable and appropriate boundaries allows for more present and prioritized attention, while also preserving the mental health and wellbeing of the one providing care.

Though our lives have certainly been altered, through Christ there has still been considerable joy in each stage and through every season. Being the wife of a medically retired military veteran who battles combat injuries, traumatic brain injury and PTSD - has profoundly both challenged and matured me, as well as developed my character. Yet we have chosen to embrace our present circumstances as we continue to cultivate hopeful aspirations, despite the obstacles that remain from the incident Jed endured, which we continue to navigate to this day.

To each military spouse and every loved one who finds themselves living a life they never imagined or anticipated, may our lessons learned along the way and experiences serve to remind you that embracing a life forever transformed with God at the center, resources within reach, and the support of others such as myself; you can come to a point of hope in life again, saturated with inspiration and possibilities for a bright future ahead.

In closing, may our family embody a testament to the majesty of God, and His supernatural power in the lives of ordinary individuals!

Love and hugs,

~ Anna Morgan

Ps. With this blog, I intend to produce a space for all (especially those serving our nation's armed forces) to receive hope, support and encouragement.

May these words provide a bit of that for you today!

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