Brian and Natalie Vines: Organizations That Support Veterans and Veteran Caregivers

 

Brian Vines, a military veteran with PTSD and fulltime caregiver for his veteran wife with TBI and PTSD, is now in a position to give back to the many non-profits that have helped him and his wife over the last decade or so since their retirements. These include the Wounded Warrior Project, including its WWP Project Odyssey® program, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and Team Semper Fi among others.

Shortly after Brian and Natalie Vines met in the military in 1998, their unit deployed to Kuwait. Fueled by assignments on nearby bases, common interests, and shared military experiences, their friendship grew into a romantic relationship that eventually led them to the alter.

Brian and Natalie loved their careers in the U.S. Army — Brian served for 28 years and Natalie for 21. After several sustaining several TBIs and living with PTSD, Natalie retired from the Army. And in 2012, Brian, who lives with PTSD as well, decided to retire to take care of his wife.

Since then, both Brian and Natalie also found significant growth and healing through their participation in the WWP Independence Program. Brian volunteers as a peer mentor helping his fellow veterans on WWP Project Odyssey® events.

For information about treatments for TBI and PTSD, please visit The Treatment Hub.

The first non-profit that helped me personally was Wounded Warrior Project. Their support of family support members helped me out. And it’s something that the journey has been about ten years with Wounded Warrior Project, that I went to Odyssey, we’ve gone to a couple Odysseys. We’ve done the Soldier Ride. I’ve come back and been a peer mentor for Project Odyssey and then now I’m part of the national campaign team, that I get to go out and represent Wounded Warrior Project, and tell our story, and hopefully inspire others for their recovery.

Early on the Independence Fund helped us, and we’ve stayed active with them. I became a Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. It’s an organization that resources, empowers, provides recognition for caregivers and since then I’ve become the President of their Alumni Association. I feel so strongly on what they do for advocating for caregivers.

Some of the other organizations that have helped us, probably the one that has helped us the most, has been Team Semper Fi in America’s Fund. They have just bent over backwards to help us with things such as making our house ADA compliant, helping Natalie out with sporting equipment, going on retreats that we can come closer together, but also arrested from just the day to day grind of, you know, living in a house. So a lot of non-profits. They’ve been very supportive, and I look now that my job is to give back to those non-profits that have helped me.

BrainLine is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families.

Posted on BrainLine November 10, 2021. Reviewed November 10, 2021.

About the author: Brian and Natalie Vines

Shortly after Brian and Natalie Vines met in the military in 1998, their unit deployed to Kuwait. Fueled by assignments on nearby bases, common interests, and shared military experiences, their friendship grew into a romantic relationship that eventually led them to the alter. Brian and Natalie loved their careers in the U.S. Army — Brian served for 28 years and Natalie for 21. After several sustaining several TBIs and living with PTSD, Natalie retired from the Army. And in 2012, Brian, who lives with PTSD as well, decided to retire to take care of his wife. Since then, both Brian and Natalie also found significant growth and healing through their participation in the Wounded Warrior Project® Independence Program. Brian volunteers as a peer mentor helping his fellow veterans on WWP Project Odyssey® events.

A photo from left to right of Natalie Vines, her German Shepherd service dog, and Brian Vines, all smiling facing the camera