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JUST IN TIME for Veterans Day USA...
Last week U.S. Veteran's Affairs DENIED my 96-year-old grandfather, William J. Maxson's claim to support at-home nursing care. He earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge (C.I.B) serving our country in World War II.
From what I can gather, the VA is ducking this responsibility, in large part, because they refuse to connect his diagnosed PTSD and dementia as underlining his need for a round-the-clock caretaker (my Dad, Denis Maxson). Never mind growing research that links the two conditions, especially in cases of exposure to heavy combat (shrapnel still in his body earned him a Purple Heart). The court previously ruled that in such cases the VA should err on the side of the veteran. In other words, they should have APPROVED his request.
Like PTSD being unrecognized until 1980, hindsight is 20/20. In our family, we affectionately call him “Grumpy Gramps”. In retrospect, the rough edges of his personality always indicated a troubled mind. Before my lifetime, my Dad can recall earlier symptoms - night terrors, drinking, insomnia, anger. For the rest, at 96 he has outlived most others who could tell the truths he never wanted to, and what now he increasingly can't tell himself.
Though unwilling to pay now, the VA had already pledged to support my grandfather in a nursing home in 2013. Unfortunately, the facilities in Houston that are approved by the VA are grossly substandard. Lexington Place, at the time the closest facility to our family, made recent headlines when two residents were beaten to DEATH under their care and supervision.
This country drafted my grandfather to war, and he answered. And although he did not make the ultimate sacrifice for his country, each and every day (24,822 and counting) since he returned from combat has been a sacrifice nonetheless. As the days ahead of him in life diminish, my grandfather deserves for his country to answer his call for support to stay in his own home, cared for by his own family.
PLEASE SHARE if you support dignified care for veterans of all ages, disability, and conflicts.
This Veterans Day remind our country the debts of war will not be forgotten.