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Warrior Spouse Blog: Our Experience With Team 43
Colleen Hodges is the wife of LTC David Hodges, United States Army, and member of Team 43. They both attended this week's 2017 Warrior Open. She writes below on David's recovery from the invisible wounds of war, her experience with Team 43, and how the network has impacted them both.
In 2010, David applied to take part in the first Warrior Open but he did not get in. I thought it was because his injury did not make him the poster child for a “wounded warrior”. David has a TBI, one of the invisible wounds of war. Until recently TBI was like the redheaded stepchild of the wounds of war, often neglected. I am extremely thankful that now the invisible wounds of the war are getting some much needed attention!
You cannot tell by looking at someone with PTS or a TBI that the person is injured. David walked around for years with a pounding headache. He self-medicated with Motrin thinking that was just how it was going to be. After years of being inpatient, grumpy, annoyed, and not sleeping through the night, our family was suffering and finally he sought help.
Watching David go through the recovery process has been difficult. I am not a passive bystander and it was incredibly frustrating to watch providers who were not knowledgeable about TBI or how to treat it muddle through each appointment. After years of trial and error, mixing and matching medication, David is finally in a place where the throbbing pain is gone. Instead he lives with a constant dull headache that never goes away. He has learned to live with it.
David has always played golf, and I think since his injury the game has been his salvation. We were ecstatic when finally in 2015 after applying again, David was notified he was accepted to play in the Warrior Open!
Being in Dallas gave us both an opportunity to be around other warriors and their families. It was nice to be in a room knowing that we had all in our own way been through hell and back, but there we were still standing, still able to put on our happy face and greet the world, and most importantly we were still together. Our military family is something I truly cherish and I am so grateful for everyone who was so kind to us while we were in Dallas, and for those who have become great friends.
Golf is such an important part of David’s recovery, and the most amazing gift he has ever received was the lifetime membership to Club Corp International. There is not a week that goes by that David does not go to the golf course and take at least one of his colleagues from MacDill AFB with him to play. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
The best thing about our Team 43 family is that we get it! We get each other. We get our situation. It is not a life for everyone – but it’s mine and I love it!
We Can All Serve, and We Should
This nation was founded on the ideals of freedom and those freedoms are protected because of those who served on and off the battlefield.
The 2017 Warrior Open in Photos
The 2017 Warrior Open reunited past Team 43 members for a weekend of golf and camaraderie. Most importantly, they told the stories of their journeys since returning home.