One amazing and rewarding aspect of helping veterans and their spouses qualify for the VA pension benefit is learning about their lives and hearing their stories.
This is a picture of one of our very first clients, Mae, posing with her one and only caregiver from our agency, her beloved Paula. The photo in this picture is a portrait of Mae’s handsome husband, Severio.
When I met this couple, Severio had just celebrated his 100th birthday. Severio truly was a remarkable man. He spoke 8 languages fluently. At 100, he spent part of each day keeping up with current events by reading newspapers in different languages on his i-Mac computer. When I met him, Severio didn’t have some of the records he needed to apply for his VA benefit. I helped him obtain their marriage certificate. In the process of tracking that down, I learned lots of fun facts about their early courtship and their 1945 wedding! Severio was well-organized and he kept lots of his military records, but he didn’t have the exact discharge paper he needed. I helped him complete a detailed form so the VA could locate his discharge records. In the process, I learned that Severio was working in the dining room of a Merchant Marine vessel in the spring of 1944 that docked at the Port of London. His ship stayed in port for over a month while all the mariners were put up in a hotel. It turned out that the military was investigating their backgrounds to be sure they were suitable to participate in a secret mission–taking the troops to the beaches of Normandy on D-Day! At age 100, Severio still remembered D-Day well. He was very proud of his role, and deservedly so. Years later, the U.S. decided to consider merchant mariners who were commissioned for active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard during war time to be eligible for full veterans benefits.
Unfortunately Severio didn’t make it to his 101st birthday. His much younger bride Mae became a widow after 73 short years of blissful marriage. Fortunately, Flourish in Place, with the help of the Veterans Benefits Group, succeeded in transferring their couples benefit to the “surviving spouse” benefit to provide aid and attendance for Mae, so Mae and her Flourish caregiver Paula are still together to this day!
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home Caregiver Services in Orlando FL, please contact the caring staff at Flourish in Place Home Care Solutions today. Proudly serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard Counties. Call 407-845-9797.