Robert Fowler worked for 20 years at Exxon, helped run a family business, managed a retirement community, and even worked as a security guard. But an ischemic stroke last November left him unable to work, and forced him to apply for Social Security disability. But Fowler, like so many Americans, feels shame in having to apply for government benefits. His wife lost her job, too, forcing them to apply for food stamps. The Washington Post has Fowler’s first-person account of the shame so many disabled people feel when they have to apply for assistance.