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Bountiful military wife named a 2020 Dole Caregiver Fellow

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BOUNTIFUL — On a typical day, Tiffany Wayment is the first person awake in her house.

She then wakes up her husband, Braden Wayment, an injured veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She helps him get ready for work by getting his medications and handling meals.

Then, she wakes her three children and gets them ready for the day. At lunch, she reminds her husband to take his afternoon medications and checks in on him while he works as a student administrator helping veterans navigate their G.I. benefits for school.

Braden Wayment was medevaced out of Afghanistan in 2011 after sustaining a lower back injury. Once he arrived stateside, the Department of Veterans Affairs medically retired him due to the injury and severe symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

Tiffany Wayment is his primary caregiver, managing his medications and various appointments, and providing emotional support when he needs it. Now, she has been named to the 2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows, a group of 30 veteran caregivers from around the states.

“I feel like there’s a need to bring to light the amazing things that caregivers do on a daily basis, and they deserve some recognition,” Tiffany Wayment said of her fellowship.

She applied for the fellowship because she felt like there was more she could do to support veteran caregivers and felt like she could use her voice to help them receive the support that they need.

“There’s a lot of caregivers out there for the first time, and it’s rough,” Tiffany Wayment said. “If I can give someone even an ounce of hope that you can do this and you’re not alone, then that makes me so happy to have the opportunity.”

As a Dole Fellow, Wayment will have the opportunity to bring the voice of Utah’s community of veteran caregivers directly to Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies.

“I think she’s a great fit for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation because she’s been a support and a voice to so many who don’t have one,” Braden Wayment said.

His wife has been volunteering with Hearts of Valor for three years and is currently the peer support group leader.

“It was an instant connection with the other caregivers who were going through similar situations,” she said.

Cearson Barnett is a close friend of Tiffany Wayment’s and also is a full-time caretaker for her veteran husband.

Tiffany Wayment met Barnett during a veteran’s event with Wounded Warriors. They hit it off and became fast friends because of how similar their situations are. Now, they provide support to each other and help each other when they start to feel burned out. Usually, that support is in the form of a fizzy drink and an ear to listen.

Barnett spoke highly of Wayment, praising her for the hard work she does at home and for her work within the community.

“She’s so resourceful, so smart and so impossibly great at whatever she puts her mind to,” Barnett said. She loves how resilient her friend is because of the challenges and struggles she’s faced and overcome.

Barnett said she’s excited about Wayment’s Dole Fellow nomination and thinks she will make Elizabeth Dole and the former Utah Fellow proud.

According to a press release, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is an organization that aims to empower, support and honor the nation’s 5.5 million military caregivers.

“Our eighth class of Dole Caregiver Fellows is bringing a new set of unique voices to our mission, but all share similar stories of strength, resilience and hope in caring for their wounded warriors,” Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, said in a statement.

According to the Dole Foundation website, fellows work as veteran caregiver advocates in their community, serve as Hidden Heroes representatives and drive support to caregivers locally and nationally.

Both Tiffany Wayment and Barnett agreed that being a caregiver is hard, but Wayment says seeing her husband succeed makes it all worth it.

“In my caregiver role at home, the most rewarding thing is seeing him succeed and seeing him coming to terms with his new normal and seeing what he can do from there,” Tiffany Wayment said.

Braden Wayment has been working for about 18 months, which Tiffany Wayment sees as a huge milestone for him and his recovery. She said he feels like he can succeed and like he has a purpose.

“Before that, there was nothing he was looking forward to,” she said.

Braden said he is proud of the work that Tiffany has done for their family and for Utah’s veteran community.

He described how she’s taken calls from women at 2 a.m. who’s spouses are having a PTSD episode or opened their home to moms and their kids when they are overwhelmed.

To learn more about the foundation, log on to elizabethdolefoundation.org.



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