There's a story that has long been shared in our family. When my oldest child was born, I was just 20 and not the greatest cook. One of the best examples was the not-so-simple task (apparently for me) of making macaroni and cheese. My son had just turned five years old when I made him a bowl one afternoon. My mother informed me that I needed to cook the noodles longer. She got on to me about the “tough noodles” and how macaroni and cheese was one of the easiest things to make. I'm not sure if it was the look in my eyes of not feeling like I measured up once again or the tone of her voice but suddenly, I had a hero come to my defense as my little boy exclaimed “I love you tough noodles, Mommy! That's the most you can love anyone!”
That's why I help veterans. For the five year old still inside the soldier who left to defend our country and came back different, injured, stigmatized by society. If you have a family member who fought for our country and came back different, please know you are not alone. We are here to help all of you. We understand. We are moms, such as myself, we are spouses, such as so many within Family of a Vet, we are family members dealing with PTSD and/or TBIs every day on some level. We are here for each other and we are here for you. Why? Because we love our veterans and our FOV tough noodles.