Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Hidden Heroes
Caregiver Journey Map Campaign for Inclusive Care

Amanda Nuckoles

Do not forget along the way that you are important, too. You must take care of yourself first and foremost or you cannot take care of your loved one.

How did you meet your husband?

We met online many years ago – before online dating was commonplace. We talked for quite a while before meeting. And since this was before cell phones with cameras, I had no clue what he looked like until we finally met. It was love at first sight – although to be honest I was already in love with him before I ever saw him. We are coming up on our 13th anniversary in March and are just as much in love – if not more so now.

What does being a military caregiver mean to you?

Being a military caregiver means taking care of my hero. My husband, and the other men and women that were wounded while serving our country, deserve to be well taken care of. We as a country need to do all that we can to take care of the people that put their lives on the line for us.

How has caregiving impacted your employment?

Due to the care of my husband, I was unable to retain employment. I worked for a little while, but there were incidents that made it clear that I needed to be home full time to properly care of my husband. That said, I did finish my degree in Psychology with a double minor in Mental Health and Criminal Justice. Despite my full plate, I also graduated Magna Cum Laude.

My Story

When Amanda's husband, Ray, was injured in Iraq during the troop surge of 2007, she knew their lives would be changed forever. Ray sustained many physical injuries including a broken back, injured knee, elbow, neck, and arm. He also suffers from migraines, nosebleeds, lung, and breathing issues, in addition to other complications. Although surgeries stabilized some of the physical problems, it took a toll on his brain. It took a little while to realize that these changes are the new normal. These life-altering changes pose challenges to Ray daily. However, Amanda is happy to be by his side as his wife and caregiver.

Amanda is honored to serve as a Dole Caregiver Fellow. She is looking forward to advocating for fellow caregivers and their families. As a mother of three, she knows the entire family works together to fulfill the caregiving role. Amanda plans to help blaze the trail to make caregiving as easy as possible for her fellow caregivers.