There are moments that carve into our souls-Veterans

“Everyone loves and love does not know a color, country or race . The world around us is unique you and I are unique but the language of love is the same” – Authoress S. Turner

Might we add Age, Mental or Medical Condition? I think of the many dying Veterans I saw and heard in the VA hospitals growing up. They were alone, far from home and loved ones. You know it’s close when the cries, once echoing through the hallway, “Help me,” stop. On the Spinal Cord Ward, every patient was paralyzed and unable to go to their fellow veteran patient, so they listen and pray, similar to the days of battle.

Veterans Need You

But I had legs that worked. I could stand up and walk out of my father’s room, traveling the few yards down the hall where “Lord, help me, please help me” had been called out for days.

There, lay an ancient looking man, dark skin pulled tight against his skeletal features, worn into silence, eyes closed with nothing but the beeping monitor showing life. I looked at the nurses behind the large desk across from his room, tired from so many helpless patients on their floor, also worn from the endless pleas. One smiled and nodded her permission to enter.

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Silently I sat in the chair beside his hospital bed, not knowing what to do. My hand instinctively reached out to hold his thin cold, clasped hands resting on a chest that barely moved. After a fewminutes or so his hands warmed, only slightly. I knew no scripture to recite, as I’d seen done in movies and at funerals. Finally, my eyes closed as the words of The Lord’s Prayer tumbled from my mouth. In the following silence, I stood and walked away, past door after door of rooms packed with four men each, returning to my father and his roomies, to sit in my spot beside his bed. Again my hand instinctively reached out to grasp Dad’s hand, appreciating the warmth and strength I could feel.

There was silence in the room, and silence on the floor, except for the background, the drone of wall TV’s and the multitudes of beeping monitors.

The ancient man never saw me; he never opened his eyes or spoke. His isolated room was empty when I returned the next day, but I know he felt me and received my love.

By Nancy Wise

Veterans – Be There For Their Family
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