Dad is and was a great father. He was there for me growing up for the good, the bad, and the ugly… so it’s an honor to give back.
What are you most excited to do as a Dole Caregiver Fellow?
Help share the great work that the Veterans Administration does for veterans.
What are the most significant lessons you have learned from being a caregiver?
I have learned a whole lot of patience helps; you are a human being, not superhuman; have fun, relax, and breathe.
What are your hobbies?
I encourage social outlets for my Dad and the VA has a great Adult Day Care program that helps me get some time to go to the gym. One goal was to get in the best shape of my life and after losing 200 pounds, if I can do it, then anyone can do it.
Robert cares for his father who is a 100 percent service-connected disabled veteran. He was in the Air Force and a civil rights pioneer who helped to integrate sports. Robert's father was the first person of color to play in the Sugar Bowl for the University of Pittsburgh in 1956. Robert first became a caregiver in 2011 when his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. His mother died in 2016, but Robert continues to care for his dad as his health conditions require many visits to the Veterans Administration. Robert's father has been an amazing husband, father, and an inspiration to many people. No one at the Veterans Administration knew his Dad’s story, and they treated him with expert care like any other Veteran.
In Robert's role as a Dole Caregiver Fellow, he hopes to shed light on the great things that the men and women at the VA do on a daily basis! He believes they, too, are hidden heroes that don’t get enough attention for the amazing work they do. Robert also hopes to provide guidance to other caregivers to help them navigate the Veterans Administration processes.