The Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced today the selection of military and veteran caregiver Nicole James of Asbury, IA as a 2016 Dole Caregiver Fellow. The Foundation’s Fellowship program is a nationwide initiative that gives a voice to military and veteran caregivers who have volunteered to serve as advocates and ambassadors for the 5.5 million spouses, parents, children, and other loved ones caring for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans. James’s story is posted on the Foundation’s website www.elizabethdolefoundation.org.
The Dole Caregiver Fellowship is one of the Foundation’s principal programs for raising awareness and driving change for America’s military and veteran caregivers. In 2015, during face-to-face meetings with the White House, Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 100 Members of Congress, and dozens of leaders in the private, nonprofit, and faith communities, the Dole Caregiver Fellows provided insight and advice about the serious challenges encountered by their peers.
Together with the 2015 class of caregivers, this year’s Fellows represent nearly every state and territory. Their stories demonstrate the myriad challenges encountered by military and veteran caregivers, such as difficulty navigating complex benefits systems, lacking adequate caregiver training, and suffering moderate to severe emotional distress, financial strain, and familial turmoil.