KAT HONAKER

(a.k.a "Uncle Sam's Mistress" - Advocate, Writer, Veteran Spouse)

Katheryn (Kat) Honaker is an Army Reservist Wife and advocate for families who are National Guard and Army Reserves, whose soldiers returned home from war with injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Her husband, who enlisted in 1998, served combined 15 years for the National Guard and then the Army Reserves where he was injured in Ramadi, Iraq in 2006. For fifteen months in a hostile combat zone, he served as a Combat Medic for the United States Army Active Duty components, the US Army Reserves and the 1st Marine Division as their “Doc” throughout the second invasion of Ramadi and Fallujah. She knew when he came home that he was a different person and was seriously injured but, didn’t know exactly what until she discovered Family of a Vet in late 2007. She began to educate not only herself, but advocate for her husband as well as for others by blogging successfully and pushing to bring forth subjects in which she was well versed and experienced. Those include financial hardships, signs and symptoms of PTSD and TBI, marital and family struggles, alcohol abuse, physical aggressiveness, suicide attempts, as well as geographical and military unit challenges.

Recently, after five years of being misdiagnosed, the family is now dealing with the long term effects of Traumatic Brain Injury in the form of Central Nervous System Impairments, Speech, Language and Communication Impairments as well as the possibility of having Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or Early Dementia to name just a few. She is a full time VA Certified Caregiver of her husband and her boys, one of which struggles with severe health issues. Through brutal honesty and candid details on her blog, she has given readers an insider's view into the battles with a broken system that doesn't know how to heal our Veterans or help their families. She has shared her family and her husband’s story of their daily battles, losses, and victories in hopes that it helps someone else rise above and continues to provide education and support to other military families who fight the same war on the home front she does every day. Katheryn is also a well known local advocate working with military families, organizations such as AmVets, American Legion, Rolling Thunder and the Vietnam Veterans Association as well as keeps in touch with her state’s Congressman to ensure that he is aware of all scenarios her state’s Veterans return home to. She is also a referral person for many of the National Guard and Reserve Family Assistance programs within the units across the state of Tennessee where they reside with their three sons. She served four years as the Army’s Regional Family Readiness Group Trainer and Leader. She is also a long time panel member on the American Red Cross Board to help set forth help for military families and provide training for local units.

Katheryn continues to write and has teamed up with Family of A Vet in hopes to eventually start a support group for her state to help not only Veterans, but for their families and their children in a peer to peer type setting and to provide extra help for Family of a Vet as a way to educate. She continues to provide a voice for those who haven’t found theirs yet and is willing to stand up and show that there is no shame in the injuries that are physical and/or invisible. She is a beacon of light for many in the dark who just haven’t found their way yet and will continue to be the light that welcomes each and every one home.