Precious Goodson was an elementary school teacher in the Atlanta area when her husband, Leonard, was severely injured in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009.
Goodson gave up her job to care for her husband who came home with life-altering neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress syndrome. He had served as a sergeant in the US Army National Guard and went from being a weekend warrior to a healing hero after serving in harm’s way in Afghanistan. Today, nearly three years after his injuries, Sgt. Goodson continues to face surgeries and physical therapy and requires on-going care.
Goodson not only faces a daily challenge of providing full-time care for her disabled husband; she is also working online for her doctorate degree in education and writing a book based on the trials a military spouse endures before and during deployment. She hopes the book will help others.
She also believes a good way to help military wives is to give them an opportunity to de-stress. She and a small team of other wives in the same situation have organized a caregivers’ retreat at Palm Key Nature Retreat from March 1-5. The retreat is being sponsored by the nonprofit organization The Independence Fund. The group seeks donations of gifts and services to create 25 gift bags for guests at the retreat.
“Working as a caregiver is a hard job, and can be overwhelming and mentally stressful. The purpose of this retreat is to offer the caregivers of severely injured warriors an opportunity to learn how to take care of ourselves, learn how to manage stress, and understand that we are not in this alone,” Goodson said.
Donations are sought in the form of pedicures, manicures, massages, lotions, bath products, perfume, relaxation DVDs, music CDs or other items. Artists, massage therapists, jewelers, musicians and others who wish to offer demonstrations and entertainment are also being sought.
Individuals and merchants who wish to donate gifts for caregivers may call 843-575-5196. They may also donate cash specified for the caregivers’ retreat at www.independencefund.org.