Honoring our Military Families
Master Sergeant Buck Doyle (USMC, ret.) fought in five combat tours as a Reconnaissance Marine and was severely wounded during his third deployment to Iraq. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart and was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for his actions on the battlefield. Below is an article written by his wife, Kyla Doyle highlighting their efforts to improve services and supports for military families impacted by autism (originally published in the Coast News on March 25, 2011).
Last summer, after my husband retired from the Marine Corps, we moved our family from my childhood home in Solana Beach to a beautiful little valley in northern Utah, where we are enjoying the seasons and the slower pace.
But now we’re coming back.
On Saturday, April 2nd, Buck and I will get on a plane, and come back to San Diego for a day to run in ACT Today for Military Families’ 5K/10K race to benefit military families with children affected by autism.
I’ve never run a 10K before, but this one’s had me literally training in the snow since January—because the cause is so important to us.
You see, our seven year old daughter, Kate, is among the 1 in 88 military children with autism. But thanks to early, intensive intervention, Kate has gone from a diagnosis of severe autism at the age of two, to being virtually indistinguishable from the other children in her new first grade classroom.
To get there, we have had to wage a five-year battle of our own—with our insurance company, the school district, the state; the people we had thought would be our allies—in order to get Kate the services she needed.
If you ask my husband which was harder: getting shot by a sniper in Iraq or trying to recover our daughter from autism, he’ll tell you it was the latter, not the former.
Through thousands of hours of individual therapy, and an enormous financial and emotional toll on our family, Kate has made progress that we didn’t dare dream for her five years ago. All the while, Buck was fighting the nation’s battles—wanting only that his family—his little girl—be taken care of in his absence.
ACT Today for Military Families, is doing exactly that—filling a gap that currently has many of our military families in crisis. ATMF is helping to meet the immediate needs of families and children affected by this devastating disorder, who are simultaneously under the stress and strain of sending their loved one into harms way.
I am often asked by friends and neighbors how they can show their support for our military—and my answer has always been to take care of their family here at home.
Participating in ACT Today’s 5K/10K run and ONE HOPE Family Festival is a perfect opportunity to provide immediate help to military families and who are challenged even more than most—Buck and I invite the San Diego community to join us on April 2nd – in hopes that Kate’s success can be had by other children, and the road to that success can be made smoother by our efforts.
For more information on how you can help or to register to run in the ACT Today for Military Families 5k/10k, go to www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org