Bree Shields is one of the estimated 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States. Her husband Sean deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and returned with serious injuries sustained in multiple firefights and a Humvee accident. Her role as his caregiver began immediately. Over time, the full scope of Sean’s injuries came to light, and Bree’s caregiver responsibilities increased even more.
In addition to his physical injuries, Sean was struggling in silence with mental health issues and needed to be hospitalized. Bree knew she had to do everything she could, in her words, “to help him not just live—but live well.” He got the help he needed, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system and Bree’s determination to find the therapies and treatments he required.
“Caregiving is about giving someone their life back. It’s really all about helping our Veterans live a life that’s full, and rich and good.”
—Bree Shields, Veteran caregiver and Dole Caregiver Fellow, Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
Bree believes that a caregiver’s ability is only as good as the caregiver’s own health and well-being. She works with caregivers to help improve their quality of life through nutrition and wellness coaching and empowers them to recognize signs of burnout and other self-care needs. Learn more about Bree and Sean through this video, as she shares what she has learned and overcome as a Veteran caregiver.