Elizabeth Dole Foundation
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Marjory Harris

My life is not depressing; my life is absolutely filled with joy.

What advice do you wish you had when you first became a military caregiver?

To not be afraid. I think I spent too much time in fear and that probably kept us from living and really experiencing life. To be absolutely fearless—that’s the advice I’d give myself. You’ve got to really live while you’re here, because you literally don’t know how long you have. Every day you wake up is a true gift and you should find out what you should do with that day.

What are some of your current challenges?

Raising our kids is a challenge. Children like to see that everything is going to be okay and that everything is going to get better. Their perception isn’t necessarily to understand that getting better may not mean being able to run down the road with their dad.

What do you think is the biggest misconception civilians have about your situation?

The biggest misconception is that I want someone to feel sorry for him and us. There is not one bone in our bodies that wants anyone’s pity and unfortunately people default to that. My life is not depressing; my life is absolutely filled with joy. We have things to be concerned about that other people don’t, but we’re not asking for anything, certainly not pity. I just want people to see him for who he is—a phenomenal human being.

My Story

Marjory cares for her husband Robert, who was medically retired from military service in 2012 after sustaining multiple internal and structural injuries and illnesses during operations and deployments with Special Operations units. Robert’s health declined quickly while stationed at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and he was moved to the Medical Treatment Facility, Fort Benning, Georgia. Over 20 surgeries and procedures later, Robert and Marjory are a dynamic team striving for a higher quality of life. They dedicate a great deal of time to helping other veterans, caregivers, and children. Marjory currently serves as an Active Guard Reserve soldier in the Mississippi Army National Guard.

In her role as a Dole Caregiver Fellow, Marjory uses her energy and drive to find assistance and resources for a broad range of medical, social, educational, and mental health concerns of caregivers. Some of the areas that concern her the most include increasing support for male caregivers and widowed caregivers, addressing over-medicating by doctors, as well as prescription drug abuse by veterans, and suicide.