Veterans: Caregivers for a Nation

Have you ever wondered what this world, namely our nation would look like if not for our veterans? The truth is, no one knows for sure. It’s possible we could be speaking German or even Russian. And if we go further back in time it could be some other language. The point is, the true caregivers of this nation could arguably be our veterans. I remember back in 1968 through 1972 while I was on the front lines of the cold war, I was told that I was and considered expendable. My life expectancy if war broke out was twelve minutes. But that was my problem, because I and thousands more like me were on the front lines making sure our nation of citizens could feel safe and rest peacefully at night. Most unaware that we were holding back a force capable of destroying our nation many times over with the push of a few buttons. Why were the buttons never pushed? Because we had bigger and better buttons, with the sole purpose of assuring our adversary that we and our nation would not go silently in the night without a fight. We were forever vigilant, and when they made an aggressive move, we countered by making a move to counter their move. None of this was done to start a war, as caregivers for the nation, our job was to stand tall and deter a war. And we did that!

Imagine, you’re 20 years old, stationed in England, you’re working an eighteen hour shift, the wind is blowing the snow is falling, and you have no where to seek shelter. Your cold, lonely, but your mission is to stay vigilant and walk around the fully loaded aircraft entrusted to you, with orders to shoot anyone or anything that approaches it without your permission. You seemingly have the weight of the world on your back, but you do your job with pride and honor knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of a nation.

There is absolutely no doubt, that the fruitful nature of our country would not exist if not for the Veteran Caregiver’s.

So when you go to bed tonight and your saying a prayer or just thinking, remember the veterans and our current military members serving in this country and around the world. And when you wake up from a peaceful night’s sleep, getting ready to start your day, perhaps kissing the ones you love goodbye for the day, understand why this is possible…The caregiver’s of this nation have got your back.

“Lest we forget” the thousands upon thousands of veteran caregivers that gave their lives for their country, through battle, from the effects of a wound, or later in life from toxic substances such as Agent Orange they received while
serving their country.

In essence, without veteran caregivers, many who paid the ultimate price, to active duty–the short term and lifers like me, this beautiful Nation we call the United States Of America would not exist as we know it, and might not exist at all. “We were and are the caregivers of our nation.”

The lead in picture is of Nick Desjardin. He was a soldier, career Army, and at one point spent a tour of duty in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange. Nick recently passed from Pancreatic cancer which his oncologist linked to Agent Orange. He also fought a three year battle with Prostate cancer, Agent Orange Related, which he survived. RIP Nick!

Hear the whole story in Bob’s book, Because of Annie. All proceeds are donated to cancer charities.

Written by Bob Harrison
Bob Harrison was raised in the heart of the Redwoods in the far northwest comer of northern California. The little town of Crescent City, California was located near some of the world’s tallest trees, with the west shoreline being the Pacific Ocean. Bob spent most of his time fishing the two local rivers where some of the finest Steelhead and Salmon fishing is located. He was also well known up and down the north coast as an avid motorcycle racer, winning several hundred trophies, and one Oregon State title. Bob graduated from Del Norte High School with the class of 1966, then spent a one year stint at the College of the Redwoods, before having a strong sense of patriotism and joining the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Bob met Annie, the love of his life, and they got married in England in 1972. Bob’s love of country pushed him on to what turned out to be a very successful career, retiring in 1991. Bob’s last military assignment was Wichita, Kansas, a place he and Annie decided to call home. Together they developed and ran two very successful antique businesses until the stranger knocked on their door and changed their lives forever; “Because of Annie.”

Related Articles

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


  1. Theresa, that was so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you.

  2. I wrote this poem a few years ago

    Can we
    Imagine a world
    Without freedom
    Our country no longer embraced
    Stand up salute
    The red white and blue
    Respect what brave men have faced

    Behind the Stars and Stripes
    Colors tell a story
    Of those who fought and died
    For our freedom and Old Glory

    What if our flag
    Our symbol of freedom erased
    Nobody knew
    Ever again
    What trials free men have faced

    Who will step up
    With passion and pride
    To protect and preserve
    Proud men say I

    Imagine a world
    Without freedom
    Our country no longer embraced
    Stand up salute
    The red white and blue
    Respect what brave men have faced

    Theresa Loder

    Thank you for your service to our country


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.

%d bloggers like this: