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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

2017 Dole Caregiver Fellows Announced

Military and Veteran Caregivers Advocate for 5.5 Million Hidden Heroes Caring for Wounded, Ill and Injured Veterans

Press Release – Washington, D.C. —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.

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, a premier online destination where military caregivers can access vetted resources, seek support and connect to a larger community.

“We are excited to welcome the new class of Fellows,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole. “The Dole Caregiver Fellows are an essential part of the Foundation’s work. 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.”

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.

This year’s class of Dole Caregiver Fellows includes a mother who retired to care for her son, a spouse who fought for her husband to become the first blind active duty service member, and a husband and wife duo who defeated cancer together. From homemakers, professors and former high school teachers to police officers, writers, business owners, and nurses, the Fellows’ stories are diverse, and together they capture the strength and resiliency inherent to the 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers across America.

Members of the 2017 Dole Caregiver Fellows include:

  • Beth Durbin- North Pole, AK
  • Tanya McKee- Gadsden, AL
  • Alex Burum- Oxnard, CA
  • Diane Petrini- San Diego, CA
  • Jacqui Scoggins- Manitou Springs, CO
  • Jessica Rodriguez- Griswold, CT
  • Betsy Eves- Washington, DC
  • Patricia Ochan- Washington, DC
  • Jessica Root- Waikoloa, HI
  • Angela L. Brooks- Scott AFB, IL
  • Carolyn Tolliver-Lee- Manhattan, KS
  • Megan  Smith- Bethesda, MD
  • Melissa Meadows- Hampstead, MD
  • Marjorie Pennington- Kenduskeag, ME
  • Amanda Schalau- West Branch, MI
  • Shawn  Moore- Kansas City, MO
  • Nancy White- West End, NC
  • Michelle Bassett- North Las Vegas, NV
  • Jill Schuman- Nashua, NH
  • Rhea Anne Cook Anderson- Roselle, NJ
  • Raquel Derrick- Hurley, NY
  • Sonia Yulfo- New York City, NY
  • Kristen Berg- Houtzdale, PA
  • Tara Plybon- Taylor, TX
  • Corrine Hinton-Texarkana, TX
  • Jacqueline Goodrich- Dumfries, VA
  • Rachel Clark- Ruther Glen, VA
  • Tiffany  Smiley- Pasco, WA
  • Grace Garoutte-Mohammed- Oconomowoc, WI
  • Kathryne Stalnaker- Rock Cave, WV
  • Lisa Anne Peacock- Cheyenne, WY

About The Elizabeth Dole Foundation & Hidden Heroes

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

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 to better connect them to helpful resources and support.

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