Three years of my life were spent on deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
While overseas, I was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, both a Valorous and Presidential Unit Commendation. I’ve pinned Purple Hearts on soldiers I commanded.
I often felt for my family as I was deployed. I had a 1 year old son who turned 3 before I returned the first time. A second son was born during my second deployment. My wife is what held the family together.
I thought I knew what service was. I know that my wife does because she lived it.
When I started Home Helpers in Little Rock ten years ago, I learned about true service and how that effected many of the families for which I’ve had the opportunity to provide home care services.
Home Helpers provides in-home care to senior adults. As the owner, I always have the opportunity to meet new clients in their homes. In the course of my consultation and assessment, I frequently get to hear some fascinating stories. None of those stories top the combined story from a while back of two different clients I met in one week.
Both of these new clients were War World II veterans. Both saw action at the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. But, they were in different outfits.
When I met the first man, I noticed a shadow box on the wall with his medals, ranks and patches. The patch that most stood out was that of the 3rd Army. Patton’s Army. His wife started to share that her husband had served in World War II but that he rarely talks about it. Nothing could have been further from the truth when I shared that I was also an Army combat veteran who had actually commanded one of Patton’s distant relatives. Our connection was immediate. We didn’t talk “blood and guts” but rather about “grunt life” in the field. He had been a tank commander, so since I have never set foot in a tank, he joked that in a few years my feet and knees would go out since I had to walk everywhere I went while he got to ride in his tank.
The second man I met had served as a Sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division. We developed an immediate bond when I shared that I once led a team attached to the 101st – the Bastogne Brigade no less! Though his eyes glassed over, he seemed to relish the opportunity to share stories with someone who could actually relate. This man was living in the final stages of cancer but he had the greatest outlook and was a terrific story teller. I almost felt like a little kid sitting at his feet listening to his stories. He would poke at me and I’d tease him. That’s the type of relationship we established at our first meeting. As I was about to leave, I told him that I met one of the soldiers who rescued him in Bastogne. His reply was absolutely priceless. He sat up as straight as he could and told me (and this is an almost exact quote), “Major, we didn’t need anybody to rescue us. We were right where we wanted to be and we could still be holding that ground to this day.”
My agency has served scores of families through the years. From those living with Alzheimer’s to those recovering from an illness or operation to those on Hospice to those who simply need a little assistance to safely remain in their homes.
These two were different. I HAD to serve them. Nothing would prevent me from serving them. They were fellow veterans in need of assistance.
To me, it’s an honor to serve men and women who have served in our armed forces. It’s humbling to know that Home Helpers can play a role in helping them when they need in-home care.
It’s an even greater privilege when we’re able to serve a veteran who requires assistance in order to remain in their home but does not have the financial resources to pay for it. That’s when it really gets exciting because I get to introduce them to the VA’s Aid and Attendance pension.
If you or someone you know is a veteran and could benefit from in-home assistance or care, please allow me the opportunity to meet them. I’m a good listener and as a veteran myself, I commit to doing everything in my power to serving your loved one with the honor with which they served.
Just fill out the contact information below and I’ll call you as quickly as possible. Or, you can simply call me direct at my Little Rock office at (501) 663-3900.