CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Every day for eight years now, Del Gonzales has actually been serving her country from inside her family home.
A dedicated wife, Gonzales has been right at the side of her bed-bound husband and Vietnam War veteran, Hando.
"It's kind of hard at times, I've gone through some struggles," Gonzales said. "It's been emotional. There's been a little bit of depression there."
Another loyal military spouse, Cara Lopez, looked after her husband Isaac, also a Vietnam War veteran, until he died last year.
"You know, when you have a loved one and they're sick, you spend so much time taking care of them that time just passes and you don't even realize it," said Lopez.
Long after their loved ones left the battlefield, spouses like Gonzales and Lopez sacrifice themselves caring for their husbands; our nation's brave.
"My husband had a hemorrhagic stroke January 2015 at the same time I was diagnosed with breast cancer the following month. So, both of us are survivors," Gonzales said.
"(Isaac) was not able to walk. He was not able to do anything, and I had to be there with him 24/7. It has been three years that I had not gone to the doctor for myself," Lopez said.
But now, there's a support group that meets every Wednesday, that takes care of those who care for our veterans.
"It's a learning process for them," said Dr. Genvieve Livingston, who works with the VA and leads the Caregiver Support Group.
The group provides a mental and emotional break for caregivers. It also creates a special bond between those who already share so much in common.
"It's a family," Gonzales said. "We support each other and we love each other."
"Many of them have made close friendships, and having someone else just to be there and hear them and be with them through that. That is important," said Livingston.
The Caregiver Support Group is one part of the VA's Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program.
Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org