Elizabeth Dole Foundation Announces Dumfries Residents as 2017 Fellows

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Provided by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation today announced its 2017 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows – 31 military and veteran caregivers who have been carefully selected from across the country to represent the Foundation including Betsy Eves and Jacqueline Goodrich of Dumfries. As military/veteran caregivers, Eves and Goodrich will represent the state of Virginia from 2017-2019.

Leaders in their communities, these men and women will share their personal stories to bring vital attention to the tremendous challenges caregivers face and advocate for America’s military and veteran caregivers through the Foundation’s newly launched Hidden Heroes initiative. They will use their voices and perspective to advise the Foundation, its coalition partners and government leaders on the foremost issues concerning military caregivers. Additionally, the Dole Caregiver Fellows will empower other caregivers at HiddenHeroes.org, a premier online destination where military caregivers can access vetted resources, seek support and connect to a larger community.

“We are excited to have Betsy and Jacqueline as part of the 2017 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows. Each Fellow is an essential part of the Foundation’s work,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole. “They are ambassadors, advocates, advisors, and spokespersons not only for the Foundation but for military and veteran caregivers across the nation. In addition to providing vital help to those who serve our country, the Fellows support the work of the Foundation and our partners by lending their firsthand knowledge, skills, expertise, and personal experiences to our shared mission.”

“I chose to be a Dole Fellow because I wanted to be involved in a military service organization that had the ability and influence to actually make a difference in the lives of caregivers” said Betsy Eves.  “As a Dole Fellow, I hope to bring awareness to the issues caregivers face as well as continue to create community for caregivers to be a part of.”

Despite her husband David’s efforts to prepare himself for each deployment, Betsy knew the impact on his mental health was far worse than he admitted. In 2014, she found David attempting to take his own life and he was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and chronic depression, due to combat-related experiences. Even after supporting her husband through multiple deployments and being a mother to their two young children, Betsy’s new role as David’s caregiver is by far the biggest challenge she has faced.

Betsy is also a recent graduate of the summer 2016 class of Dog Tag, Inc. Fellowship Program where she earned a Certificate of Business Administration from the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. She is also an entrepreneur and founded her own media and online marketing company, Be Creative Consulting, LLC, in addition to managing a baking and lifestyle website called The JavaCupcake Blog.

“I’m thrilled to serve as a Dole Fellow so that I can take my advocacy to the next level” said Jacqueline. “Becoming a wounded warrior family and surviving has been one of the most difficult journeys I’ve ever experienced, but my husband and I both believe that if we can make that journey easier for those coming after us then it has been worth it all.”

When Jacqueline Goodrich’s husband Michael was wounded by a rocket explosion in Eastern Afghanistan on his 26th birthday, their lives were changed forever. In addition to being Michael’s full-time caregiver, Jacqueline also cares for their two children and runs a nonprofit she founded to provide support to the children of wounded warriors.

Jacqueline believes, “If you’re going to complain about something, bring a solution.” In her new role as a Dole Caregiver Fellow, she will remain proactive in her community, creating solutions to improve conditions for wounded warriors and their families. Already, Jacqueline has written a 12 point policy brief reform proposal which was presented at the Pentagon and resulted in improved care for her family and others. Policy and advocacy work are her passion and she looks forward to living out a legacy of service alongside her husband.

Senator Dole created the Foundation’s cornerstone Dole Caregivers Fellows Program to directly engage military and veteran caregivers. The new Fellows’ class represents 25 states and the District of Columbia, adding to a remarkable group of 110 military caregivers who have already served as Fellows and who represent all 50 states and Puerto Rico. From homemakers, professors and former high school teachers to police officers, writers, business owners, and nurses, the Fellows’ stories are diverse, but together they capture the strength and resiliency inherent to the 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers across America.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation continues to strengthen and empower America’s military caregivers and their families by raising public awareness, driving research, championing policy, and leading collaborations. Learn more about the Elizabeth Dole Foundation at elizabethdolefoundation.org.

Hidden Heroes, an initiative of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and seeks solutions for the tremendous challenges and long-term needs they face. Hidden Heroes’ goals are to raise awareness of the issues military caregivers confront every day; inspire individuals, businesses, communities, and civic, faith and government leaders to take action in supporting military caregivers in their communities; and, establish a national registry, encouraging military caregivers to register at HiddenHeroes.org to better connect them to helpful resources and support.

 

 

 

 

Share.

Leave A Reply