Community Leadership: How to be a Revolutionary Leader in Your Community
Steff Smith is the caregiver for her husband, Tom. He is a veteran of the Marine Corps and Army with 23 years of distinguished service. He was injured in Iraq and suffers from chronic PTSD, TBI, shoulder, neck and back injuries, as well as toxic exposures causing lung function issues and a chronic skin disorder. He medically retired in 2011.
Steff is an advocate, writer, historian, caregiver, mom/stepmom to 7 children ranging in age from 29 to 11 and Gigi to a 3-year-old. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in American History and currently authoring two books.
In 2014, Steff was selected as a Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and remains actively supporting caregivers as an Alumni. She is a new member of the Caregiver Advisory Board at PsychArmor Institute, contributing to educational course development for their online programs and advising on caregiver needs. She is currently a Peer Mentor at MVCN (the Red Cross’s Military and Veteran Caregiver Network), and facilitator of an in-person caregiver support group at Ft. Benning, GA. She also co-facilitates an online support group for caregivers who are at risk of divorce or have already divorced their care recipient and are continuing to assist with care and co-parenting post-divorce.
Steff advocates for caregivers of all eras, with a current special interest in advocacy for Wounded Warrior families with special needs children and for Wounded Warrior blended families. She would like to bring more attention to the parenting challenges when one parent is severely injured and/or suffers from cognitive injuries that prevent them from taking a more active role with children.