Elisa Borah, research associate with the School of Social Work’s Texas Institute for excellence in Mental Health, wrote this opinion piece on the need provide career support to military spouses so that they can provide essential caregiving to veterans and their families.

“Spouses are vital to veterans’ successful transition into civilian life and in veterans’ recovery process when they require treatment,” Borah writes. “It’s also spouses who become the family’s breadwinner when veterans are unable to work.”

Recent surveys, however, show that one in four spouses said their status as military spouses had a negative impact on their careers, because of frequent transfers, resumes with strings of short-term positions, professional licensure issues when moving to a new state, and reluctance from employers to hire someone who may soon move.

“The Texas Veterans Commission has opened career counseling services to spouses and dependents,” Borah writes. “Other agencies should follow suit and lawmakers should eliminate hurdles.”