“In addition to high rates of disability and psychological issues, some vets facing the end of life are confronting long-suppressed memories of the traumas of war.”
“Credit…Nick Hagen for The New York Times
“When Timothy Hellrung was told he had aggressive cancer this past June and had only days or weeks to live, he knew where he wanted to die.
“Mr. Hellrung, a 73-year-old veteran of the Vietnam War disabled by Agent Orange, spent his last 10 days in hospice care at the community living center of the V.A. Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan. The staff provided him with a roomy suite. A social worker wheeled in a bed for his wife of 44 years, Brenda, and gave her pajamas so she could be comfortable spending every night with him.
“‘The V.A. became family to us,’ Ms. Hellrung said. On his first day in hospice, a roomful of veterans honored Mr. Hellrung by placing a pin on his clothing with the American flag and the words ‘thank you for your service.’”
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This Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner agency, the South Central Veteran Community Partnership, is “a coalition of VA facilities; Community health providers, organizations and agencies; and Veterans and their caregivers.”
Many Link partner agencies are also Veteran Community Partnership agencies.