Steff Smith is the caregiver for her husband, Thomas. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army with 23 combined 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 4-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 active supporting caregivers as an Alumna. In addition to serving on the Caregiver Advisory Board 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. She has recently participated in panel discussions at the 2018 America’s Warrior Partnership and at the 2018 VetXpo, hosted by Gallant Few, and was a featured speaker at Veteran Warrior’s first caregiver conference in April 2019. She is also the South Atlantic Deputy Regional Coordinator for BattleForged Nation, a grassroots 501(c)(3) with an emphasis on preventing veteran suicide and providing resource information to veterans in crisis.
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 and prejudices faced when one parent is severely injured and/or suffers from cognitive injuries that prevent them from taking a more active role with their children.