Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

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, 2000

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 5 – May / June 2000

.PDF | 131.29 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Skin cancer, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Bell's Palsy, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-1999; ARD surveillance update ...

Report
Jan 1, 2000

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 10 – December 2000

.PDF | 153.00 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: ARD surveillance update; Completeness of reporting of hospitalized cases of reportable medical events, U.S. Navy, January 1998 - June 2000; Cold weather injuries, active duty soldiers; Sentinel reportable ...

Report
Jan 1, 2000

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 7 – August 2000

.PDF | 177.93 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Musculoskeletal Disorders, U.S. Army, 1990 – 1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Assault - Related ...

Report
Jan 1, 2000

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 8 – September / October 2000

.PDF | 159.35 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Breast cancer among female soldiers, 1998 – 1999; Acquired hallux valgus (bunions), U.S. Armed Forces, 1998 – 1999; Reportable events, U.S. Army, third quarter, 2000; ARD surveillance update; Assault - related ...

Report
Jan 1, 2000

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 9 – November 2000

.PDF | 145.54 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Noncombat gunshot injuries, active duty service members, 1990 – 1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Monthly and installation - specific ...

Report
Jan 1, 2000

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 6 – July 2000

.PDF | 158.83 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Adenovirus type 4 outbreak among basic trainees, Ft. Benning, Georgia, April-May 2000; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Completeness and ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 1 – January/February 1999

.PDF | 190.29 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Malaria, U.S. Army, 1998; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, January 1999; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, January 1999; Reportable sexually ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 8 – December 1999

.PDF | 183.36 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Malaria experience among U.S. active duty soldiers 1997-1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Incidence of diabetes mellitus among active duty ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 3 – April 1999

.PDF | 351.44 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial; Hospitalization Trends, U.S. Army, 1998; Selected sentinel reportable events, March 1999; Selected sentinel reportable events, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, March 1999; ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 7 – October/November 1999

.PDF | 213.79 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Acute respiratory illnesses, pneumonias, and influenza, U.S. Army, January 1998 - May 1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Predictors of ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 2 – March 1999

.PDF | 284.04 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Overhydration/hyponatremia, recent trends, U.S. Army; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, February 1999; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 4 – May 1999

.PDF | 166.98 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Varicella Primary Prevention Program (VPPP), Fort Knox; ARD surveillance update; Completeness and timeliness of reporting; Pneumococcal pneumonia ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 6 – August/September 1999

.PDF | 188.85 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Eye injuries, active duty soldiers, 1993 – 1998; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Ankle injuries, active duty service members, 1990 -1998; ARD ...

Report
Jan 1, 1999

MSMR Vol. 5 No. 5 – June/July 1999

.PDF | 166.55 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Active duty, 1985-1999; Reserve, 1985-1999; National Guard, 1985-1999; Civilian applicants for service; Program summary, U.S. Army, 1999; Selected sentinel reportable events, June 1999; Selected sentinel ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
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