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Robin Olson

The mission of the Roy Williams Foundation is desperately needed. From personal experience,
the aspect of “renewing life’s purpose” from Foundation’s mission statement hits home the


Let me share a little about my story. My first husband, Peter, was an officer in the Air Force.
One of his assignments was the Staff Weather Officer, “the weather dude”, for the 1 st Infantry
Division located in Würzburg, Germany. We arrived two months before 9/11. 1 ID deployed to
Iraq in early 2004 and the AF weather detachment went along. All I can say is, he was not the
same man that left just a few months earlier.


As far as I know, he never sought help upon his return. When I asked him to, he said it just
wasn’t done that way. He became a heavy daily drinker until I asked for a divorce. He then
stopped drinking, cold, and within a few weeks, went into a psychotic break including
schizophrenic symptoms and bipolar episodes. That was 2010.


For the next ten years, Peter had no purpose except for our daughter. He didn’t want to work
or volunteer anywhere. In June of 2020, after battling addiction, depression, and mental illness,
going in and out of the VA hospital, jail, and rehab, he took his life. Our daughter, who had just
turned 18 a few months earlier, had to pick up the pieces and became responsible for his


What brought me to Salida, is my current husband, Phil. He is from a family of first responders
including military, police, and fire. He, himself, was an EMT at one time. I see and hear the
effects of their jobs.


I am involved in grief support and end of life care. I wanted to be on the board to help not only
the first responders, but the spouses, family members, and community. Grief comes in many
forms and is an ongoing process that requires attention. There can never be too many ways to
provide support.

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