MSOY

Cara Loken, 2016 Armed Forces Insurance National Guard Spouse of the Year

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Cara Loken

Duty Station: Nebraska

Years being a military spouse: 16

Tell us a little bit about you! I’ve been a military spouse for over 16 years. My husband and son are both combat veterans and I have firsthand experiences that could prove vital for fellow military spouses and families to understand. One of my goals is to educate military spouses and family members about Post-Traumatic Stress, and the insidious onset of symptoms months, and even years after military members return from war.

I am a committed wife, mother, grandmother, and American. I volunteer to assist in countless Yellow Ribbon Re-integration Program gatherings, and as an outspoken friendly voice for those families and friends who are experiencing their service member deploy for the first time.

There is growing civil-military gap that is affecting how society as a whole views the military. Education will be key to preventing the gap from growing.

What is one thing you would want to accomplish with the MSOY title? The one thing I would like to accomplish with the MSOY title is the ability to reach a wider audience about the onset of Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms and other mental health issues sometimes well after deployments and combat. I think even the military programs, such as Yellow Ribbon don’t go far enough in supporting our warriors.

I would like to have a program like Battle Buddy, in the state of Nebraska to help veterans who struggle from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Battle Buddy is a program that trains service dogs for veterans that suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is free to the veteran.

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