Veteran Caregiver Hero Award: A Loyal and Kindhearted Son, Andre M.

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Fri Feb 16 2024.

Veteran Caregiver Hero Award: A Loyal and Kindhearted Son, Andre M.

Caregiver: Andre Morrow

He’s caring for: His father, Samuel

Winner Of: The Veteran Caregiver Hero Award

A Strained Relationship Blossoms

Andre’s Dad, Samuel, was diagnosed with dementia about seven years ago. Shortly after, Andre retired early from a career he loved to serve as a full time caregiver. He says it was a tough choice that significantly impacted his family, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Samuel is a 91-year-old veteran who served 30 years in the United States Marine Corps. Though rewarding, his military career resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which strained his relationship with Andre growing up.“When [Dad] came back from Vietnam, he was a mess,” Andre says. “He was actually pretty violent.”

Since entering the role of caregiver, Andre’s been able to heal those wounds. “[I’m] over 60 years old [now, and] I have the best relationship a father and a son could ever have,” he says. “[Dad] gets emotional and cries a lot. He’ll say ‘Why do you do that, son? I wasn’t a really good father to you.’ I tell my Dad, ‘hey, that was yesterday. That's the past. And this is the beginning of a new life for both of us.”

An Unbreakable Bond Between Father and Son

Andre provides round-the-clock care for his Dad. He cooks and cleans; assists with hygiene, like bathing and shaving; and offers emotional support. Andre also cares for his Dad’s dog, making sure he’s fed, groomed, and taken to the vet. 

The reversal of parent-child roles presents challenges, but Andre says he’s able to manage, thanks to his loving family. “[I’ve] got the support of my six children, 12 grandchildren, and a wife that I’ve been with for 42 years. I’m grateful. Every day is rewarding.”

Despite all of the ups and downs, Andre says that he loves the positive impact he’s able to have on his father. Their relationship is stronger than ever, and his Dad is comfortable, safe, and well-cared for in the twilight of his life.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.