Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

Giving Back Helps Veteran Caregiver Connect with Military Caregivers

Image of DHupko Image_725. Veteran caregiver, Diane Hupko (right) honorably supports the U.S. Army veteran she cares for and regularly gives of her time to volunteer and support other military caregivers and families in the Fort Drum, New York area.

Military caregivers play a huge part in the recovery process of our nation's wounded, ill, and injured service members. Ensuring caregivers are supported in their efforts is vital to the success of the process.

Veteran caregiver Diane Hupko regularly volunteers to support other military caregivers and families in the Fort Drum, New York area through the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Caregiver Support program.

Hupko has been a caregiver to an Army veteran since March 2020. 'Her veteran' has been experiencing significant physical and behavioral health concerns since 2016. These health concerns have led to challenges for him, including his inability to re-enter the workforce and periods of isolation from friends and family, as well as almost complete withdrawal from the community. "I can honestly say that the emotional and financial impacts I have sustained have been life altering," Hupko said.

"However, I have also had the honor of being by [my veteran's] side as he dug deep and came to the profound realization that he deserves a better life. We have been able to engage supports, and, with help, he has begun to play an active role in his own recovery," explained Hupko.

It's this on-going experience as a caregiver that drives Hupko's passion to help and support other military caregivers by volunteering with DOD's Military Caregiver Support program. This program provides resources and information exclusively for military caregivers who assist wounded, ill and injured service members with activities of daily living.

Since 2013, DOD's support for military caregivers has positively impacted thousands of lives by addressing key issues that affect caregivers in the short and long term. These issues often include finances, education, employment, transportation, maintaining a strong family, keeping mentally and physically healthy, navigating through legal issues, and housing.

Access to PEER Support Coordinators (PSCs) is one of the key resources the program provides. Deployed to 10 geographical regions, PSCs provide regionalized support to military caregivers and caregiver stakeholders. PSCs assist in convening Military Caregiver PEER Forums, conduct outreach activities, identify and report on gaps in support, aid in finding and providing information on military caregiver support services, and act as the military caregivers' point of contact for their region.

Tonia Russell serves as the regional PSC for the Fort Drum, New York area. In this role, she often coordinates military caregiver involvement with community outreach events.

Hupko genuinely enjoys volunteering for these outreach activities with Russell and other military caregivers. She has participated in outreach events, such as one working with military expectant parents and another that provided school supplies to community children.

"I had the pleasure of interacting with many caregivers and was amazed to see many veterans working to make a difference. As we all work together to prepare for the events, the interaction and support with other people in my situation has made such a huge difference," she shared. "I have had the opportunity to talk about my journey and hear the testimony of others. There is something so profound about realizing that you do not struggle alone."

"There is also something powerful about feeling like your journey can serve as a beacon of hope to others who may not feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel," Hupko said. "There is just something powerful about the sense of community, the sharing of resources and ideas, and knowing that people care."

Hupko plans to continue giving back and engaging with other caregivers by joining Russell in an upcoming holiday meal distribution event.

"I am so grateful for the work of the Military Caregiver Support program and the passion of their staff," Hupko said. "I know that things will never be as they once were, but in some ways, perhaps they are better. People coming together to support one another is a powerful gift and this program allows that engagement."

"My message to anyone in this situation is that there is hope and it can be found by reaching out and getting involved in this program. The journey is not always easy, but there are so many reasons to take that step. Every hero deserves a better life and a sense of knowing that their service had meaning," she concluded.

More information on the Military Caregiver Support program is available here.

You also may be interested in...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 10 - October 2012

.PDF | 359.75 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Cold weather injuries, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2007-June 2012; Thyroid disorders among active component military members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2011; Reported ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 8 - August 2012

.PDF | 946.29 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Viral meningitis, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2011; Updates: Routine screening for antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), civilian applicants for U.S. military ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 11 - November 2012

.PDF | 364.11 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Costs of war: excess health care burdens during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (relative to the health care experience pre-war); Outbreak of gastrointestinal illness during Operation New Horizons in Pisco, ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 2 - February 2012

.PDF | 351.89 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Health care experiences prior to suicide and self-inflicted injury, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2010; Relations between suicide and traumatic brain injury, psychiatric diagnoses, and relationship ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 3 - March 2012

.PDF | 331.87 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Initial assessment of impact of adenovirus type 4 and type 7 vaccine on febrile respiratory illness and virus transmission in military basic trainees, March 2012; Surveillance Snapshot: adenovirus among U.S. ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 5 - May 2012

.PDF | 569.48 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Deaths while on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, 1990-2011; Degenerative disc disease, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2011; Images in health surveillance: tickborne disease vectors and Lyme ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 7 - July 2012

.PDF | 83.15 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Health of women after wartime deployments: correlates of risk for selected medical conditions among females after initial and repeat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, active component, U.S. Armed Forces; ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 1 - January 2012

.PDF | 537.07 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Malaria, U.S. Armed Forces, 2011; Sources of variability of estimates of malaria case counts, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces; Images in health surveillance: Malaria vectors and malaria ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 4 - April 2012

.PDF | 583.18 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: "Military importance": what does it mean and can it be assessed objectively?; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, 2011; Hospitalizations ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 6 - June 2012

.PDF | 385.92 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance Snapshot: deployment-related injuries to external genital organs, by month and service, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2003-April 2012; Incident diagnoses of cancers and ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 9 - September 2012

.PDF | 1.21 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Injuries due to firearms and air guns among U.S. military members not participating in overseas combat operations, 2002-2011; Health care encounters for injuries associated with a gun mechanism or component, U ...

Report
Jan 1, 2012

MSMR Vol. 19 No. 12 - December 2012

.PDF | 440.37 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Pulmonary and extrapulmonary coccidioidomycosis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 1999-2011; Seasonal variation in incident diagnoses of appendicitis among beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2002 ...

Report
May 31, 2011

Indications and Conditions for In-Theater Post-Injury Neurocognitive Assessment Tool (NCAT) Testing

.PDF | 251.87 KB

In accordance with Section 1673 of the NDAA HR 4986, signed into law in January of 2008, the Secretary of Defense was instructed to establish a protocol for the pre-deployment assessment and documentation of the cognitive functioning of Service Members deployed outside the United States.

Report
Jan 1, 2011

MSMR Vol. 18 No. 11 - November 2011

.PDF | 393.78 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Norovirus outbreak associated with person-to-person transmission, U.S. Air Force Academy, July 2011; Notice to readers: Department of Defense laboratory capabilities for testing for norovirus infection; ...

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery